The Colorado End-of-Life Options Act authorizes medical aid in dying to terminally ill adults to end their life in a peaceful manner. The terminally ill adult must meet several requirements, including:
- A prognosis of six months or less
- Mental capacity to make an informed decision
The person must also be:
- A Colorado Resident
- Acting voluntarily
- Able to make informed decisions that include being given information about all other end-of-life options
- Capable of self-administering and ingesting the aid-in-dying drug(s)
In addition to the requirements listed above, certain steps must be followed in order for a person to qualify for aid-in-dying medication. Two physicians must confirm the prognosis. To request medial aid in dying:
- An individual must make two verbal requests that are separated by at least 15 days.
- The requests must be made to the person’s primary physician.
- The person must also provide a written request called “Request for Medication to end my life in a peaceful manner form”. This form needs to be signed and witnessed by at least two individuals who to the best of their knowledge and belief the person is: (a) mentally capable, (b) acting voluntarily; and (c) not being coerced to sign the request.
Health care providers, nurses, and pharmacists are not required to participate in medical aid in dying. They have the right under the law to choose to participate. If your health care provider does not participate, you can change your provider(s).
If health care provider chooses to participate, they are required to examine the individual and the relevant medical records and complete all reporting requirements with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The two required forms are “Attending/Prescribing Physician Form” and “Medication Dispensing Form”.
The terminally ill person decides if, when and where they will self-administer the medication. In most cases individuals have taken the medication at home.
The patient must be:
A Colorado resident
Diagnosed with a terminal illness with a prognosis of six (6) months or less
Able to make informed decision(s), including being given information about all other end-of-life options
Capable of self-administering and ingesting the aid-in-dying drug(s)
How to Request
To request medical aid in dying, an individual must voluntarily take the following steps.
Make two (2) verbal requests in person to their primary care doctor, at least 15 days apart.
Complete a “Request for medication to end my life in a peaceful manner" and submit to their primary doctor.
The request needs to be signed and witnessed by at least two (2) individuals, who to the best of their knowledge and belief the person is:
Acting voluntarily; and
Not being coerced to sign the request.
Download a 'Request for medication to end my life in a peaceful manner' sample form
Download an Attending Physician Form
Download a Medication Dispensing Form