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Clearing up Questions about End of Life Options



Last Thursday, Adrienne Idsal from Northwest Colorado Health Hospice Program gave the audience at the Heart of Steamboat United Methodist Church the facts about the End of Life Options Act.


She presented the details of the law, including eligibility, process, and the 2017 data and statistics.


Then, she broke the audience into small groups and asked the following questions:

What does your ideal death look like?

If you were terminally ill, under what circumstances would you decide to elect Medical Aid in Dying, and why?


If these questions seem exceptionally difficult to you–don’t be discouraged.  They are difficult questions, for anyone.  The most important thing is just to get the conversation started, to clarify and explore your values around death and dying.


Maybe you’ve never given it much thought, but you likely have opinions on these tough subjects.  And your thoughts and wishes around your medical care are important to know.  They’re important for you to know, and they’re important for your loved ones to know, as well.

Under the current law, the End of Life Options Act will only affect people with a terminal illness who are mentally capable of making their own healthcare decisions.  So the End of Life Options Act, while it is important to some people, truly affects very few.


The End of Life Options Act has no affect on people who can’t make their own healthcare decisions.  This includes people with dementia and Alzheimer’s, who do not have mental capability to make informed healthcare decisions.


This is why it’s important to have a plan: a Living Will, a Healthcare Power of Attorney, and HIPAA Authorization forms.  All of these documents are included in a legacy plan with Swan Law.


If you are ever in an emergency situation and unable to speak for yourself, having a designated agent who can make healthcare choices is imperative.  And if you don’t choose your own healthcare agent, the court can choose an agent for you.


By expressing your preferences in writing, as part of a legacy plan, you give your healthcare agent a roadmap to follow, alleviating worry and stress that they are not acting in accordance with what you would have wanted.


At the End of Life Speaker Series, everyone in the room has gathered to talk about death.  Having the conversation comes a bit more easily.  But there are people we love who remain reticent, for whom “the conversation” is still difficult.


Though it can be uncomfortable to instigate the topic, it’s important for everyone to think about their values and preferences regarding death.  To know what they believe is a good death, an ideal death.  And to make those beliefs known.


At the End of Life Speaker Series, we’ve heard many firsthand stories about people who expressed their wishes ahead of time, who had the conversation, and who still struggled to make those wishes known at crucial moments.  A legacy plan, done by a seasoned attorney, has the tools to help.


If you have questions about the End of Life Options Act, Thursday’s presentation, or about getting the conversation started, contact Swan Law today, by calling 970-879-1572 or sending an email to  manager@swanlawoffice.com.

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405 South Lincoln Avenue, Suite 101

PO Box 773002 Steamboat Springs, Colorado, 80477

Tel: 970-879-1572 

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