Colorado Living Will

A Colorado Living Will is a legal document that allows one to state, unilaterally and in advance, whether he or she desires to forego artificial life support in the event he or she is in a terminal condition or in a persistent vegetative state.  Even if one decides to reject life sustaining treatment, medical professionals will continue to provide one with all necessary treatment for the purpose of alleviating pain and suffering.  In addition to refusing life sustaining medical treatment, a Colorado Living Will permits one to decide in advance whether he or she wishes to have “food” and “water” provided intravenously if he or she is unable to take food and water orally.

In Colorado, a Living Will comes into effect when two conditions are met:  (1) two physicians are in agreement the patient has a terminal condition or in a persistent vegetative state and (2) the patient has been unable to effectively communicate to their doctor(s).

Who Can Create a Colorado Living Will

Any competent individual eighteen years or older can create a Living Will in Colorado.

When Does a Colorado Living Will Take Effect

A Living Will becomes effective immediately upon properly executing the document.  For a Colorado Living Will to be properly executed, it requires two witnesses.  It is advisable that a Living Will also be executed in the presence of a notary public.

When Does a Colorado Living Will Expire

In Colorado, a Living Will does not expire.

Can a Colorado Living Will Ever Be Changed or Revoked

A Living Will can be changed or revoked at any time.

Does One’s Pregnancy Override a Colorado Living Will

If one is pregnant, Colorado law requires a medical evaluation be performed to determine whether the fetus is viable and is expected to survive with the continuation of life-sustaining measures.  If the fetusis expected to survive, the terms of the Colorado Living Will has no force or effect.

What Is The Difference Between a Colorado Living Will And a Colorado Medical Power of Attorney

A Colorado Living Will is simply a declaration concerning life sustaining measures and whether to withhold food and water whereas a Medical Power of Attorney is a delegation of authority for all types of medical treatment.

Where Should One Store a Colorado Living Will

It is important not to store the document in a safe deposit box as the bank will not be open at night, on holidays and possibly on weekends.  It can be very beneficial to provide a copy to one’s medical providers so they can make the Living Will a part of one’s medical record.  In addition, a copy of the Living Will should be provided to the hospital staff when one is admitted for medical treatment.

Why Have a Colorado Living Will

Not only does a Living Will help insure one’s wishes are adhered to, it is an exceptionally important document that helps reduce the likelihood of disputes among one’s family and the courts.  Simply put, a Colorado Living Will expresses to others, including family, friends, and medical professionals, how you wish to be treated at the end of your life

For your family, this document provides your expressed wishes rather than making the family guess your desires. Nevertheless, it is an excellent idea to discuss your wishes as to medical treatment with your family. The more discussion you have with them on this subject, the more likely your wishes will be followed.

The content of this website is for informational purposes only.  As such, it should not be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. It is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

Comments are closed.