Terminally ill Coloradans soon will be able to end their life

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DENVER -- After years of disappointment in the General Assembly, election night was a resounding victory for supporters of medical aid in dying, also known as "the right to die."

The measure passed with more support than expected and will become law in Colorado soon after state election results are certified by the Secretary of State's Office and approved by Gov. John Hickenlooper.

The governor has 30 days after the election results are certified to sign it into law.

Julie Selsberg is a supporter who helped lead the effort to pass the law.

"It is optional for patient and for physician," Selsberg said.

First, a patient must be diagnosed with a terminal illness and given a prognosis of six months or less to live. Two doctors must confirm the diagnosis

Then, patients must have two oral discussions about ending their life life with a doctor -- with an interval of 15 days between meetings.

Patients then fill out a form and have two witnesses sign it. One witness cannot be a family member.

The patient then will to a qualified pharmacy and receive the medication. It is then administered by the patient. No one can administer the medication.

A database of doctors and pharmacies participating is being compiled by Compassion and Choices. 

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