Currently in Colorado, aiding another person in ending his or her life is a crime of felony manslaughter. Proposition 106 would permit terminally ill patients with under six months to live to self-administer aid-in-dying drugs to voluntarily die. It would also allow a physician to prescribe the lethal drug to a terminally ill patient under certain conditions. In addition, Proposition 106 would criminalize coercing a patient with a terminal illness to request the drug.
How does this ballot measure relate to earlier Legislative initiatives in Colorado? How does this proposition compare to legislation in other states? Is there any utilization information in states which have passed this kind of legislation?
Speaker – Roland L. Halpern
Compassion & Choices Colorado
Mr. Halpern received his undergraduate degree from Hiram College, Hiram, Ohio and his Master’s in Nonprofit Management from Regis University, Denver, Colorado.
His background includes twenty-seven years in the insurance industry, including ten years as vice-president and director of a major specialty carrier. Part of his career was devoted to catastrophic injury reconciliation, dealing with parties who had sustained major trauma or with the survivors of those who had died from their injuries. This experience has given him unique insight into what families go through when confronting crisis situations.
Mr. Halpern is the recipient of several awards for outstanding community service in the area of social justice. In 2002, while living in Hawaii, he was introduced to the medical aid in dying movement as part of an effort to pass legislation to allow mentally capable terminally ill adults the option of ending their lives if suffering intolerably.
Mr. Halpern subsequently moved to Denver where he oversaw community relations for Compassion & Choices’ national operations. In his current capacity as a Cultivation Manager he works with the organization’s chapters, helps coordinate legislative efforts aimed at improving end-of-life options, guest lectures on end-of-life concerns, educates the public on the need for advance care planning, and conducts workshops to promote understanding of advance healthcare directives (living wills).
Roland is involved with a variety of social justice causes through organizations such as the Humane Society of the United States and the Colorado Council of Churches.
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