Medical Aid in Dying
In 2016, Colorado voters approved Proposition 106, “Access to Medical Aid In Dying,” which amends Colorado statutes to include the Colorado End-of-life Options Act (hereinafter “Act”) at Article 48 of Title 25, C.R.S. The Act:
Allows an eligible terminally ill individual with a prognosis of six months or less to live to request and self-administer medical aid-in-dying medication in order to voluntarily end his or her life;
Authorizes a physician to prescribe medical aid-in-dying medication to a terminally ill individual under certain conditions; and
Creates criminal penalties for tampering with a person's request for medical aid-in-dying medication or knowingly coercing a person with a terminal illness to request the medication.
This Act requires the prescribing physician and the health care professional dispensing aid-in-dying medication to provide the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) with information outlined by the Act, and necessary to ensure compliance with the documentation requirements of the Act. Rules have been adopted by the Board of Health describing these reporting requirements (6 CCR 1009-4). Following are the required forms:
CDPHE will use data submitted with these forms to generate and make available to the public an annual statistical report of aggregate data collected.
A request for medical aid-in-dying medication must substantially conform to the Request for medication to end my life in a peaceful manner form delineated in Section 25-48-112, C.R.S. The Request for medication to end my life in a peaceful manner form repeats the statute and may be used for the written request for medical aid-in-dying medication. The form is being provided to support accurate reporting by attending physicians. The Department is unable to modify the form, comment as to whether an individual or a form has substantially complied with statute, or provide an individual medical or legal advice.
The information collected, however, is not available for public inspection, and will be maintained as confidential. As such, CDPHE will not confirm on a case-by-case basis whether an individual was prescribed aid-in-dying medication, or whether a health care provider has prescribed or dispensed aid-in-dying medication.
Patients are invited to consult with their physicians regarding any questions they have concerning requests for aid-in-dying medication. The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) continues to have oversight responsibilities for physicians and pharmacists participating in the activities covered by the Act.
Completed forms may be mailed to:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Vital Statistics Program
Attn: Kirk Bol
4300 Cherry Creek Drive South, Denver, CO 80246-1530
Or sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org through secure email, accessed at https://web1.zixmail.net/s/
Statistics presented in this report reflect patients for whom prescriptions for aid-in-dying medication were written; and among those, patients to whom aid-in-dying medications were dispensed and deaths among patients subsequent to prescription of aid-in-dying medication. Data used for this report are based on required reporting forms and death certificates received by CDPHE through routine vital records registration.
Kirk Bol, Manager, Vital Statistics Program