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15-18.5-101. Legislative declaration - construction of statute


(1) The general assembly hereby finds, determines, and declares that:

(a) All adult persons have a fundamental right to make their own medical treatment and health care benefit decisions, including decisions regarding medical treatment, artificial nourishment and hydration, and private or public health care benefits;

(b) The lack of decisional capacity to provide informed consent to or refusal of medical treatment should not preclude such decisions from being made on behalf of a person who lacks such decisional capacity and who has no known advance medical directive, or whose wishes are not otherwise known; and

(c) The enactment of legislation to authorize proxy decision-makers to make medical treatment decisions and surrogate decision-makers to make health care benefit decisions on behalf of persons lacking the decisional capacity to provide informed consent to or refusal of medical treatment is appropriate.

(2) The general assembly does not intend to encourage or discourage any particular medical treatment or to interfere with or affect any method of religious or spiritual healing otherwise permitted by law.

(3) Nothing in this article shall be construed as condoning, authorizing, or approving euthanasia or mercy killing. In addition, the general assembly does not intend that this article be construed as permitting any affirmative or deliberate act to end a persons life, except to permit natural death as provided by this article.


Source: L. 92: Entire article added, p. 1984, 3, effective June 4. L. 2006: (1)(a) and (1)(c) amended, p. 841, 3, effective May 4.


Cross references: For the provisions relating to anatomical gifts and their effect on advance health-care directives, see part 2 of article 19 of this title; for provisions relating to a medical durable power of attorney, see 15-14-506; for provisions relating to declarations concerning medical treatment, see article 18 of this title; for provisions relating to cardiopulmonary resuscitation directives, see article 18.6 of this title.

Law reviews: For article, The Colorado Patient Autonomy Act: Opportunities and Challenges Parts I and II, see 21 Colo. Law. 1901 and 2203 ; for article, Surrogate Decision-Making for Friendless Patients, see 34 Colo. Law. 71 (April 2005); for article, Respecting and Responding to End-of-Life Choices, see 34 Colo. Law. 57 (Oct. 2005); for article, How to Reconcile Advance Care Directives With Attempted Suicide, see 42 Colo. Law. 97 (July 2013).