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About the Colorado End-of-Life Options Act

About

The Colorado End of Life Options Act authorizes medical aid in dying. Medical aid in dying is a safe and trusted medical practice in which a terminally ill, mentally capable adult with a prognosis of six months or less to live may request from his or her doctor a prescription for medication which they can choose to self-ingest to bring about a peaceful death. The law will go into effect early January 2017.


How do I Access a Prescription?

Eligibility requirements

To be eligible for medical aid in dying under Colorado’s law, a person must be:

  • An adult
  • Terminally ill
  • Given a prognosis of six months or less to live
  • Mentally capable of making their own healthcare decisions

A person must also be:

  • A resident of Colorado
  • Acting voluntarily
  • Making an informed decision that includes being given information about all other end-of-life options
  • Informed that they may choose to obtain the aid-in-dying prescription but not take it
  • Capable of self-administering and ingesting the aid-in-dying drug

In addition to the requirements listed above, certain steps must be followed in order for a person to qualify for aid-in-dying medication. The average length of time between requesting and receiving a prescription is between 15 days to three months and requires at least two doctor visits. Therefore, it is important for individuals to talk to their doctors early to see whether the doctor is willing to write a prescription. We encourage everyone to begin this conversation now.


Where can I Learn More?

For Colorado Residents

Colorado Introduction to Medical Aid in Dying

Colorado End of Life Options Act Information for State Residents Factsheet

Colorado End of Life Options Act Frequently Asked Questions Factsheet

How to Talk to Your Doctor in Colorado

How to Interview a Hospice in Colorado

Colorado Request for Medical Aid-in-Dying Medication

For more information on the full range of end-of-life options visit the Compassion & Choices End of-Life-Information Center.

For Medical Providers

The Colorado Access Campaign seeks to provide technical assistance to healthcare providers so they can more fully support their patients.

Resources are currently being produced and will be added here as they become available. Check back often.

For Doctors

Clinical Criteria for Physician Aid in Dying and supplementary clinical information: Current best practices as published by the Journal of Palliative Medicine in December 2015.


About Compassion & Choices

Compassion & Choices is the nation’s oldest, largest and most active nonprofit organization committed to improving care and expanding choice for the end of life.