His wife was first to use Colorado’s aid-in-dying law. His advocacy made him an accidental resource for others. | VailDaily.com

His wife was first to use Colorado’s aid-in-dying law. His advocacy made him an accidental resource for others.

Kevin Simpson
The Colorado Sun
Herb Myers gazes at one of the handwritten notes his wife, Kathy, left for him before she died. Kathy, who had a terminal respiratory disease, became possibly the first Colorado patient to use aid-in-dying medication to end her life.
Kevin Simpson, The Colorado Sun

Herb Myers gazes at the note taped to the wall in the kitchen, the one reminding him not to forget his lunch when he leaves for work. There’s also one on a table in the next room telling him which heat vents to open in the winter.

His wife, Kathy, made sure to leave handwritten reminders around the house before she died in March of 2017. That’s when she became possibly the first person in Colorado to employ a recently-passed aid-in-dying law, which helped her end a years-long battle with a debilitating and terminal respiratory disease.

“She’s still trying to take care of me,” Herb says. “She knew she wasn’t going to be here, so she was trying to keep me on the straight and narrow.”

It has now been more than two years since Proposition 106 passed by a 2-1 margin statewide, though implementation of the End-of-Life Options Act has been a slow process for everyone from large healthcare systems to individual doctors to hospice workers. To say nothing of patients considering the option.

Recent data from the law’s second year shows a significant increase in the number of individuals at least taking the step to obtain aid-in-dying medication, whether they eventually use it or not. And nearly twice as many doctors prescribed the medication as the initial year.

Read more via The Colorado Sun.

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