A Controversial Ballot Measure Has Colorado News Outlets Grappling With the “S” Word

On election day, voters in Colorado will have a big decision to make: whether to approve an initiative that would allow terminally ill patients to obtain a prescription for drugs to end their lives.

But before then, news outlets in the state have a decision of their own to make: what language to use when describing the proposal. Like abortion, immigration, or even the estate tax before it, the movement for what is sometimes called “death with dignity” has sparked a debate over political terminology. Newsrooms around the state are discussing the issue right now—but so far, there is little consensus.

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