Finding The Right Drug Cocktail For Aid-In-Dying

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Aid-in-Dying drugs, end-of-life options
Colorado's medical aid in dying law was passed in 2016.

For years, in states where it's legal for terminally ill patients to take drugs to end their lives, most doctors opted for the drug Seconal, a sleeping pill. But that began to change in 2015 when the medication was acquired by a Canadian company and the price doubled from $1500 to $3000.

In a story for Kaiser Health News, JoNel Aleccia said doctors in Washington started using a new four-drug cocktail this summer that they say is cheaper and less harsh than other alternatives to Seconal. The mixture includes diazepam, digoxin, morphine and propranolol.

Advocates of Colorado's new law have reached out to local pharmacies to make sure they stock those drugs.

Aleccia spoke with Colorado Matters host Nathan Heffel.

Also, CPR's John Daley reports on a number of health providers in the state that want to opt out of the law. Many are hospitals associated with the Catholic Church, which opposes aid-in-dying laws and favors palliative and hospice care for terminally ill patients.


As Implementaion Questions Swirl, Catholic Hospitals Opt Out Of Colorado’s New Aid In Dying Law