Colorado’s first medical aid in dying (MAiD) law passed in November of 2016 and very quickly went into effect in January. But moving the law from paper to practice has been as challenging here as it has been in every other state. Physicians were reluctant to step out of their comfort zones (some have closely held religious beliefs that, of course, should be respected), unsure about their legal liability (there are NO legal repercussions for doctors following this law) or how to relate to these patients.
Medical institutions and hospices had to craft policies based on informed values to guide their operations. Patients had to understand that this is not a simple or appropriate process for everyone and there are strict guidelines about who is eligible to access MAiD. In all of this, the educational key has been to help all these people and groups understand the law, the ethics, the implications and the outcomes.
Educating the community about Medical Aid-in-Dying
Practically Dying has helped to educate the community about the Medical Aid-in-Dying through presentations to attorneys, clergy, end-of-life workers, medical staff and other groups, and we continue to work with Compassion and Choices to encourage people and organizations to understand what this is all about, to allay fears, to support all aspects of patient-centered care.
We also consult with and work with patients who are interested in pursuing this path. From understanding the logistics to exploring reasons and motivations to making choices that fit your life values and needs, we see this as an end-of-life option that is the right answer for the right person.
Practically Dying can help you understand the Colorado End-of-Life Act
If you are curious about the implications of the Medical Aid-in-Dying Act, you can listen to Kim’s recent address about MAiD to the Boulder Rotary Club in February 2019. Watch her informative presentation “Dying to Stay in Charge” and Q & A here.
This direction and this law is a major cultural paradigm shift and understanding the who, what, when, where and why is important for all of us. Practically Dying is here to start the conversation with you.