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City Forum: Death with Dignity? Proposition 106, Hospice, and Right to Die

August 30, 2017 @ 6:30 pm - 8:45 pm

Breckenridge Brewery 2920 Brewery Lane
Littleton, CO 80120

City Forum presents “Death with Dignity? Proposition 106, Hospice, and Right to Die.”
In November of 2016, Coloradans passed Proposition 106 authorizing certain individuals to receive medical aid in dying if they meet several requirements. In an age of immense resources that touch on the emotional, spiritual, and physical wellbeing of a person, what does it mean to die with dignity? The conversation surrounding Prop. 106 not only includes end-of-life decisions like hospice and palliative care, but also conversations surrounding anthropology, mercy, autonomy, and ethics.
Now more than ever, it’s crucial to thoughtfully engage with our neighbors on end-of-life issues. Come hear four different perspectives and engage with us as we discuss this timely subject.

Our expert panelists

Daniel L. Handel, M.D.
Chief, Palliative Medicine, Denver Health; Professor University of Colorado School of Medicine at Denver
Dr. Handel is the founding Chief of Palliative Medicine at Denver Health Medical Center and Professor at University of Colorado School of Medicine. His palliative medicine has served patients with advanced illness through its interdisciplinary inpatient and outpatient services, helping with symptom management and care planning to meet individual patient goals since 2013. Dr. Handel previously held a senior clinical staff appointment at the National Institutes of Health for a dozen years, where he founded and directed one of the first accredited Palliative and Hospice Medicine fellowship training programs in the US. Dan had previously founded a Texas palliative care program at a tertiary care teaching hospital and directed medical services for a large Texas hospice, while helping to found the third Texas inpatient free-standing hospice hospital.

After receiving his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland in 1978, Dr. Handel completed a Family Practice residency at the University of Minnesota in 1981. He holds board certifications in Family Practice and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Fellowship status in the American Academy of Family Practice and American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, and Diplomate status in American Academy of Pain Management.

Dr. Handel has served as medical director for nonprofit hospice, institute for clinical pain management and research, inpatient and outpatient pain and palliative care programs, and inpatient Texas hospice hospital. He has served in volunteer leadership positions in the American Cancer Society, the NIH Palliative Care Medical Working Group, the Texas Medical Association, the State Cancer Pain Initiatives, and the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. With special interests in pharmacological and mind/body pain management strategies, Dr. Handel has presented internationally and has authored over thirty books, book chapters, and journal articles on pain management and palliative care, hypnosis and mind/body medicine.

Carrie Ann Lucas, J.D.
Founder and Executive Director, Disabled Parent’s Rights; Attorney at Respondent Parent’s Council
Carrie Ann Lucas is the founder and executive director of the Center for Rights of Parents with Disabilities in Windsor, Colorado. Ms. Lucas is an attorney who specializes in representing disabled parents and families with disabled children. Ms. Lucas consults with attorneys around the nation regarding issues affecting parents with disabilities. Ms. Lucas has also been in efforts to oppose assisted suicide and euthanasia for over 17 years. She is a former Petra Foundation Fellow and Equal Justice Works Fellow. Ms. Lucas has spent over 15 years working for disability rights organizations, and was lead plaintiff in an epic 7-and-a-half-year suit against Kmart that resulted in the largest and most far-reaching accessibility class action settlement in history. Ms. Lucas is a power wheelchair and ventilator user due to a neuromuscular disease. She is also an advocate for children with disabilities. She has adopted four older children, all of whom have multiple disabilities – Heather, Asiza, Adrianne, and Anthony.

Hillary Lum, M.D., PhD
Assistant Professor, Geriatric Medicine – University of Colorado School of Medicine; Physician, UCHealth Senior Care Clinic – Anschutz Medical Campus
Hillary Lum is a geriatrician, palliative care physician, and researcher at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Denver VA Medical Center since 2013. She is passionate about creating opportunities for individuals and their loved ones to talk about what is important to them, especially in the setting of serious illnesses. Her research focuses on refining a novel Advance Care Planning Group Visit intervention to encourage meaningful conversations and advance directive documentation with healthcare providers. Additional grants and studies include palliative care in Parkinson’s disease, heart failure, and individuals in skilled nursing facilities. She loves being a primary care physician for older adults, working with students and trainees, and working within communities and healthcare systems to create effective policies related to improving care for older adults and other vulnerable groups. She and her husband enjoy living in Aurora, eating ethnically for less than $30, and connecting with others at Fellowship Denver Church.

Jean Abbott, M.D., M.H.
University of Colorado Hospital Ethics Consultation Service,
Faculty, Center for Bioethics and Humanities, Palliative Care
Jean Abbott is a board-certified Emergency Medicine physician and faculty member at the University of Colorado since 1985. She has a Master of Humanities from CU and is a longstanding member of the University of Colorado Hospital Ethics Committee and the Ethics Consult service. She focuses lectures and writing on clinical consultation, palliative care, and end-of-life issues through the Center for Bioethics and Humanities. She is currently helping create the ethics content for the new CU Palliative Care Master’s Program, and also teaches and facilitates Advance Care Planning conversations through community presentations.

$10 ticket price includes first Breckenridge beer or non-alcoholic beverage.


August 30, 2017
6:30 pm - 8:45 pm
Breckenridge Brewery 2920 Brewery Lane
Littleton, CO 80120
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10 a.m. Sundays, Dakota Ridge High School