Understanding the Colorado End of Life Options Act
In late 2016, Colorado was the 7th state to pass an aid-in-dying law. In all the states with legal medical aid in dying (MAiD), the law has basically the same requirements and the same process. These steps were designed to balance giving a person control over the way their life ends and to make sure that they are acting voluntarily and understand their choice.
In order for a person to be eligibile for MAiD in Colorado, they must
- be 18 or older.
- be terminally ill.
- have a prognosis of six months or less to live.
- be mentally capable of making their own healthcare decisions.
- be a resident of Colorado.
- be capable of self-administering and ingesting the aid-in-dying drug.
Once it is determined that a person is eligible, they begin a thorough process to qualify for the medication. That process includes
- three voluntary requests (one formal written request and two oral requests) to the attending physician.
- requests must be made 15 days apart to confirm that they are giving full informed consent, that they completely understand all of their end-of-life options, and the request is their consistent desire and goal.
- an assessment and statement by the physician who will prescribe the medication that the person is eligible.
- a second assessment and statement by a consulting doctor confirming that the person is terminal and has capacity to make this decision.
- the physician may request a mental health evaluation.