End of Life Options Act was approved by Colorado voters in 2016 to allow medical aid in dying.
This means an eligible person with a terminal illness can receive a prescription
for medication that they can choose to take to bring about a peaceful
death. More details can be found in our
Medical Aid in Dying FAQs and our
BCH recognizes and supports terminally ill patients and their loved ones
in making informed health care decisions, including decisions regarding
the patient’s end-of-life options.
BCH supports the purpose of the Act to allow adult, terminally ill patients
with decisional capacity to request aid-in-dying medications from an attending
physician in order to mitigate suffering and shorten a prolonged dying process.
BCH recognizes that medical aid-in-dying medication, as described in the
Act, is one option in the spectrum of options for end-of-life care. BCH
is committed to informing terminally ill patients about the full range
of end-of-life options, including hospice, palliative care and pain management,
as well as the potential use of medical aid-in-dying medication.
BCH neither encourages nor discourages participation in medical-aid-in-dying
by BCH employees, physicians, and providers. Participation is entirely
voluntary. Only those employees, physicians, and providers who are willing
and desire to so should participate in medical-aid-dying processes.
BCH allows individuals working at its facilities, both employees and non-employees,
to participate in the following activities authorized by the Act, subject
to the restrictions of this policy:
- Perform the duties of an attending or consulting physician or mental health
- Prescribe medications under the Act;
- Be present when a patient self-administers aid-in-dying medication, so
long as not on the premises of a BCH facility; and
- Participate in patient, family and provider support related to medical-aid-dying.
Physicians acting as attending physicians under the Act must be granted
appropriate clinical privileges and comply with this Policy in order to
perform medical aid-in-dying functions in a BCH facility or as a BCH employee.
BCH does not permit the ingestion or self-administration of aid-dying-medications
on the premises of any BCH facility. No physician or other health care
provider or BCH staff may assist any patient in the self-administration
of aid-in-dying medication or dispense aid-in-dying medication as an employee
of BCH or on the premises of any BCH facility.
Inquiry and discussion of a request for aid-in-dying medication is permitted
during a patient’s hospitalization and in BCH clinics and other
outpatient settings. Additionally, an attending physician may prescribe
aid-in-dying medication in a clinic or other outpatient setting or to
an inpatient, so long as all requirements of the Act and this Policy are
met, and self-administration of the medication is not intended to occur
on the premises of a BCH facility.
BCH will not subject any physician, provider or employee to any disciplinary
action, restriction of privilege or other penalty or sanction for actions
taken in good faith under the Act and in accordance with this Policy or
for declining to participate in any process under the Act or this Policy.
If you have any questions, please call Boulder Community Health at 303-415-7000.