Colorado End of Life Options Act Being Updated – newsletter 4-15-24

In what AgeWise Colorado Provider Compassion & Choices describes as a great improvement, the Colorado House and Senate have passed SB 24-068 to make changes to the state’s existing End of Life Options Act, first created in 2016. Current law already authorizes an individual with a terminal illness to request, and the individual’s attending physician to prescribe, medication to hasten the individual’s death, an action called medical-aid-in-dying (MAID). The new 2024 bill modifies the MAID law by a) providing an advanced practice registered nurse with the same authority to evaluate an individual and prescribe medication as a physician, and b) reducing the waiting period between two oral requests for medications from 15 days to 7 days, and c) allowing attending providers to waive the mandatory waiting period if the patient is unlikely to survive more than 48 hours and meets all other qualifications. The bill also prohibits certain insurers from denying or altering healthcare or life insurance benefits otherwise available to a covered individual with a terminal illness based on the availability of medical-aid-in-dying or attempting to coerce an individual with a terminal illness to make a request for MAID medication.

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