Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Colorado Loosens Safeguards on Assisted Suicide & Euthanasia

By Meg Wingerter, additional information provided by Margaret Dore.

Colorado loosened regulations on medical aid in dying, also known as assisted suicide, physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia.  

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis [pictured here] signed Senate Bill 68, which shortened the bill's waiting period for  who wish to end their lives with a  to seven days. Under the previous law, people with less than six months to live had to request the medication twice, at least 15 days apart, before they could receive it.

The law also will open access to medical aid in dying in Colorado to non-residents, and allow advanced practice registered nurses to prescribe the medication cocktail. APRNs can prescribe most other drugs.

The group Compassion and Choices [previously known as the Hemlock Society] called the bill an important step to increase access to end-of-life options, while groups representing people with disabilities worried that a shorter waiting period might lead people to decide to die before they have time to adjust to a diagnosis. A previous version of the bill would have shortened the waiting period to two days.