There is an important bill in the legislature to remove unnecessary barriers and enhance the End of Life Options Act. This bill is necessary to make sure that dying Coloradans are able to access this compassionate end of life option.
The End of Life Options Act, passed by 65% of Colorado voters in 2016, was one of the most popular ballot measures in state history, with over 1.7 million Coloradans supporting this safe, compassionate medical practice. The law authorized mentally capable, terminally ill adults with six months or less to live the option to request a doctor's prescription for medication they can choose to take to die peacefully. The law took effect on Dec. 16, 2016.
But we know the work is far from complete. People across the state, especially in rural and underserved communities, still struggle to access the full range of options. Everyone deserves the right to make the same choices, regardless of their zip code.
According to Denver Health, nearly 1 in 4 of their eligible patients going through the medical aid-in-dying process from 2018-2022 died during the minimum 15-day waiting period.
The bill, SB24-068, proposes the following key modifications to the law, which will allow more eligible patients to access medical aid in dying while still protecting medically vulnerable populations: