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Colorado

Current Status

On November 8, 2016, Colorado voters passed Proposition 106, the End of Life Options Act, at the ballot by 65 to 35 percent (or 2 to 1) margin. The law went into effect on December 16, 2016.

Resources and Additional Information

About the Statute and Implementation

Resources for Patients

Resources for Healthcare Providers

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What does death with dignity mean to you?

Most people join our movement because of a heartbreaking personal experience. We receive stories of such experiences every day, and every day they inspire us to work toward ensuring terminally-ill Americans have the freedom to decide how they die. We want to hear from you. What's your death with dignity story? What inspired you to get involved in the cause?

History

2017

In the 2017 legislative session, opponents of the new aid in dying law introduced HB 1368, a bill that would amend the Act to allow, rather than require, the attending physician or hospice medical director to sign the death certificate of someone who used an aid-in-dying medication. The bill died in committee.

2016

Ballot Initiative

Proposition 106, a physician-assisted dying measure, had qualified qualified for the ballot in August 2o16. According to a Colorado Mesa University September 2016 poll, 70 percent of Coloradans supported the measure, with 46 percent favoring it strongly.

  • Death with Dignity National Center ad in support of Prop 106 airing in rural areas and featuring Deborah Ziegler, Brittany Maynard’s mother

The ballot measure’s success followed the failure of bills to progress in the Colorado state legislature in two subsequent sessions.

Legislative Drive

In January 2016, Representatives Court and Ginal introduced HB 16-1054, a death with dignity bill, while Senator Michael Merrifield (D-Manitou Springs) signed on as sponsor of SB 16-025, an identical companion bill, in the Colorado Senate. The new bill was called the Colorado End-of-Life Options Act.

A hearing in the Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee took place on February 3, 2016. The bill was voted down (“postponed indefinitely”) 3 to 2 along party lines. A hearing in the House Judiciary Committee took place on February 4, 2016. The bill passed 6 to 5, again along party lines.

On February 24, 2016, the bill sponsors pulled the bill from consideration by the full House due to a lack of votes to pass it.

2015

In 2015, Colorado State Representatives Lois Court (D-Denver) and Joann Ginal (D-Fort Collins) sponsored HB 15-1135, the Colorado Death with Dignity Act, which was heard and voted down in a House Committee.

Pre-2015

The 2015 session was the first time a death with dignity bill was considered in the Colorado legislature after the Oregon Death with Dignity Act went into effect. Colorado had considered physician-assisted dying bills in 1995 (HB 95-1308) and 1996 (HB 96-1185).

Take Action

Share Your Story

Write Now ›

What does death with dignity mean to you?

Most people join our movement because of a heartbreaking personal experience. We receive stories of such experiences every day, and every day they inspire us to work toward ensuring terminally-ill Americans have the freedom to decide how they die. We want to hear from you. What's your death with dignity story? What inspired you to get involved in the cause?