Friday, 7th February. A House Committee of the Colorado Legislature voted down an assisted suicide bill proposed by Democrat, Joann Ginal.
In a vote of 8 to 5 the decision came after a full day of testimonies from the public.
Another Democrat, Dianne Primavera voted against the legislation citing a very personal experience with cancer. She had been originally told by her doctor that she would not live longer than 5 years, yet, after seeking out another doctor, whose opinion differed, she is still alive (and voting!) 28 years later.
This highlights one of the problems with making a 'choice' to suicide in the face of a difficult prognosis.
Lucas uses a wheelchair and ventilator because of a neuromuscular disease. She told lawmakers that she worries the proposal would make it easy for a disabled person who is depressed to get medication from a doctor. Without her ventilator, Lucas told lawmakers, she would have only hours to live. And, she said, if she were to get depressed, she thinks she could go to a doctor who doesn't know her well to get the drugs.
"And they probably would give me that lethal prescription instead of referring me to mental-health treatment that I would so desperately need," said Lucas, 43.
Coming on the same day as the Canadian Supreme Court abandoned the protection of the law for people living with disability, the message is crystal clear that the prohibition on euthanasia and assisted suicide not only protects all citizens equally, but it also encourages people in difficult circumstances to seek better care options and also encourages health care providers not to abandon their patients.