Up to 30 Colorado hospitals are opting out of the state’s new medical aid-in-dying law, either fully or in part, but whether that means the doctors they employ are banned from writing life-ending prescriptions is a controversy that could wind up in court.
At this point, terminally ill Coloradans who want to end their lives under the law will need to find out whether their physicians are allowed to participate.
Three major health systems with 30 hospitals among them — Centura Health and SCL Health System, both religiously affiliated, and HealthOne — have announced they will not participate in the law. What that means for doctors, though, varies by system.
Centura Health, with 15 hospitals in Colorado including Littleton Adventist, St. Francis Medical Center in Colorado Springs, St. Anthony and Porter Adventist in Denver, posted a vague statement saying it “has a long tradition of believing in the sanctity of life, extending compassionate care and relieving suffering.”
“As permitted by the statute, Centura Health has opted out of participating in the Colorado End-of-Life Options Act,” the statement says, offering no clarification on what that means for its employed doctors. Spokesman Eric Hubler said he could not answer questions this week about whether doctors employed by Centura could write prescriptions on or off premises.
Read full story at The Denver Post.