(Associated Press) A year ago in November, when Susan and Kurt Huschle cast their ballots in favor of the state’s aid-in-dying law, they viewed the measure with the personal detachment of a distant what-if.
Three months later, Kurt faced a terminal diagnosis of a rare bile-duct cancer. Pain mounted exponentially, blasting through his medication. His once-sturdy frame rapidly diminished. And suddenly, the theoretical idea of ending his life with a doctor-prescribed medication became a very real option – one he desperately wanted to have in hand.
“We voted for it,” Susan recalls, sitting at the kitchen table where she and her husband first heard the news that he didn’t have long to live. “But we didn’t know anything about it.”
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On July 16, exactly seven months after the law went into effect, Kurt took aid-in-dying medication and died, at 58, in his bed at the couple’s Highlands Ranch home. But the process, from paperwork to prescription and finally to practice, bred frustration, stress, uncertainty and, ultimately, a wife’s panic in his final hours.