Colorado End of Life Options Act
The End-of-Life Options Act Policy is approved for Estes Park Health
The Colorado End-of-Life Options Act was approved by Colorado voters in 2016. The Act:
- Allows an eligible terminally ill individual, with a prognosis of six months or less to live, to request and self-administer aid-in-dying medication in order to voluntarily end his or her life;
- Authorizes a physician to prescribe aid-in-dying medication to a terminally ill individual under certain conditions; and
- Creates criminal penalties for tampering with a person’s request for aid-in-dying medication or knowingly coercing a person with a terminal illness to request the medication.
The discussion surrounding the Colorado End-of-Life Options Act (“the Act”) can be a highly emotional issue for patients, healthcare providers, and hospitals. The Estes Park Health Board of Directors approved at the February 25, 2019 meeting, the Estes Park Health Act Policy. The Board chose to remove the Estes Park Health Living Center as an acceptable location to injest the medical aid in dying medication. It was determined that there are currently no Residents in the Living Center that would qualify, based on the Colorado Law requirements, to participate in the Act. Moving forward, any Residents wishing to live at the Estes Park Living Center will be informed of the policy before living arrangements are finalized.
Estes Park Health will provide education to our physicians who choose to, or not to, participate in the Act. The decision on pursuing acquiring medical aid in dying medication will always be a decision between a patient and their physician. The organization Compassion & Choices is the expert on the end-of-life journey and the Act. Compassion & Choices offers resources on how to speak to your physician and how to interview a hospice about end-of-life care options.
Estes Park Health’s mission is to make a positive difference in the health and well-being of all we serve. Estes Park Health has a unique opportunity to provide a continuum of care from the start of life to the end of life. Estes Park Health is proud of the services provided to the community at the end of life.
- Our Home Health team offers medical and non-medical services in the home to provide assistance that allows patients to stay in their home with help, if that is their choice. To arrange care, call 970-586-2273.
- Our Hospice Care provides physical, emotional, social, and spiritual care before, during, and after death. Hospice Care enables patients to have control over how they can live their days with comfort and dignity, surrounded by those they love. Hospice Care provides effective symptom management and palliative care to allow patients and their family to focus on quality of life. To arrange Hospice Care, call 970-586-2273.
- Our Living Center provides short-term and long-term care when a patient needs more support than is available in the home. The Living Center is a home-like, 24-hour, skilled nursing facility that is connected to Estes Park Health. To arrange a tour call 970-586-8103.
The choice to participate in the Act will ultimately be a decision between the patient and their physician. The time to discuss end-of-life options, and the time to choose a provider who will honor your choice, is while you’re still healthy and able to make your own decisions.