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Compassion & Choices.  compassionandchoices.org
Compassion & Choices is the nation's oldest, largest and most active non-profit organization committed to improving care and expanding choices at the end-of-life. It is their belief and experience for the past 30 years that the path to change starts with the individual, which is why patient-centered care stands at the center of all they do. In Colorado and across the nation Compassion & Choices work to ensure healthcare providers honor and enable patients' decisions about their care. Compassion & Care works with state legislatures, Congress, courts, medical settings and communities to:
  • Empower people with information and tools, including their free consultation program, to receive healthcare that is consistent with an individuals' values and priorities as they approach the end of life;
  • Advance policies that allow people to make fully informed decisions about their healthcare, such as improving hospice and palliative care and ending unwanted medical treatment;
  • Authorize and implement medical aid in dying to allow mentally capable adults in their final weeks or months of a terminal disease to advance the time of death and end unbearable suffering.
In 2016, Compassion & Choices and the Compassion & Choices Action Network made a strategic decision to support a ballot initiative in Colorado. Compassion & Choices lent its policy know-how and deep understanding of aid-in-dying laws to work with petitioners to draft the proposed statute, while the Compassion & Care Action Network provided important financial resources to foster an effective on-the-ground advocacy effort.  Compassion & Choice programs include a Legal Advocacy Program, helping people to achieve better medical care and gain equal access to the full range of end-of-life options, Direct Services such as the End-of-Life Information Center offering resources on end-of-life options and helping to guide important decisions with loved ones, healthcare providers and others, Access Program supporting hospitals and healthcare systems in states where laws have been passed so all terminally ill people who are eligible will have access to medical aid in dying and Advocacy. To contact Compassion & Choices Colorado go to compassionandchoices.org/colorado.

Death with Dignity National Center. deathwithdignity.org
The mission of the Death with Dignity National Center is to promote Death with Dignity laws based on their model legislation, the Oregon Death and Dignity Act, both to provide an option for dying individuals and to stimulate national improvements in end-of-life care. The Center is a non-profit organization that
Expands the freedom of all qualified terminally ill Americans to make their own end-of-life decisions, including how they die;
  • Expands the freedom of all qualified terminally ill Americans to make their own end-of-life decisions, including how they die;
  • Promotes Death with Dignity laws around the United States based on the groundbreaking Oregon model;
  • Provides information, education and support about Death with Dignity as an end-of-life option to patients, family members, legislators, advocates, healthcare and end-of-life care professionals, media and the interested public;
  • Mounts legal defense of physician-assisted dying legislation.
Aging with Dignity. agingwithdignity.org
Aging with Dignity is a private, non-profit organization whose mission is to safeguard the human dignity of people as they age or face serious illness. For nearly 20 years, Aging with Dignity has been an advocate for quality care for those near the end of death. The organization has touched the lives of more than 25 million people and their families. Aging with Dignity has been honored to work with more than 40,000 organizations across America that distribute their Five Wishes document to help people plan in advance of a serious illness. With resources available in 28 different languages, they serve people of diverse cultures and faith traditions. Programs include advocating for public policy that protects the rights of individuals and families, educational workshops and support in the manner of free information and guidance to individuals and families. This includes responding to questions and inquiries to their national toll-free hotline, offering educational workshops or training sessions and consulting with organizations and designing and maintaining programs that promote advanced care planning. No individual is ever denied any resources because of an inability to pay.

Five Wishes Document. Five Wishes: Aging with Dignity: www.agingwithdignity.org/five-wishes, 1-888-594-7437 (toll- free), Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
According to the Aging with Dignity organization, their Five Wishes document is the most widely used advance directive of a health crisis.  It is often called the "living will with a heart and soul" because it includes the things that matter most. Unlike most other advance directives, it is easy to use and understand. Caring for people with a serious illness involves more than providing the best medical care. It means helping them to maintain their human dignity. Five Wishes meets the legal requirements for an advance directive in Colorado. Like most other states, Five Wishes can be used to express how you want to be treated if you are seriously ill and unable to speak for yourself. Using the document that is easy to understand. All a person needs to do is check a box, circle a direction or write a few sentences. Once signed and witnessed, Five Wishes is a legal document. Resources such as Five Wishes and other supporting material provided by Aging with Dignity are available at a low cost to cover the expense of production and outreach.
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