Colorado didn’t take my advice. On Tuesday, voters there approved doctor-assisted suicide by a 2-to-1 margin—65% to 35%.
This is looking like the next social march that may not be stoppable legislatively. That doesn’t mean people who agree with me on this matter shouldn’t try, but it does seem to mean that we need to prepare for quiet resistance: really caring for dying people, supporting good palliative care, warning people about the risks of injustice, urging them not to seek this route out, and fighting for the right of doctors and other health professionals to refuse to participate, on grounds of conscience and moral conviction. That last one is the most obvious place for resistance in statute and regulation.
The arguments in favor of assisted suicide really boil down to a claim of personal control—an illusory prospect, rife for abuse—and hard cases, when available palliative methods come up short of alleviating suffering—to which I think we must say that “hard cases make bad law.”
Wednesday was rightly a day of mourning for many people. And for me—mainly because of this vote.