Many of the ballot issues that passed in yesterday’s controversial election have gone unnoticed, thanks to all the attention going to the main race. However, numerous initiatives passed that will impact both the young and old. One of the most monumental propositions to have passed is a Colorado initiative that made it legal to help terminally ill patients end their own life. This is huge, and something that nursing homes and other assisted living facilities throughout the nation should make note of. Colorado became the sixth state in the U.S. to pass this so-called “right-to-die” law, joining Washington, Oregon, California, Vermont, and Montana. Under Prop 106, Colorado residents over the age of 18 can request assistance to die if they have been diagnosed with a terminal ailment and have less than six months to live.
Assisted suicide has been controversial for sometime now. Its supporters say it respects an individual’s autonomy and overall right by allowing them to take control of their own lives, instead of suffering to the bitter end. Nursing home operators are often faced with these types of situations, as many of their residents have been diagnosed with incurable ailments, yet must still live out their days in pain and discomfort. Regardless of which side you fall on, it is important to recognize what Colorado has done and how this proposition will be implemented moving forward. It should also be noted that Colorado’s proposition was modeled after Oregon’s, which gained notoriety when 29-year-old Brittany Maynard exercised her “right-to-die” in 2014.
We will keep you updated on how this new law impacts the senior housing industry as we see fit. If you have any questions or anything to share regarding the topic, please do not hesitate to contact Shep Roylance of The JCH Senior Housing Group.