Planning for the worst in a medical crisis means Colorado could see a law put into play that was signed by former Gov. John Hickenlooper in 2018 and allows for extreme triage measures to care for or let certain patients die.

In the end, the decision about whether to save a patients’ life could come down to a simple lottery drawing, the Colorado Sun reports. 

Dr. Matthew Wynia, a national expert on crisis standards of care, described a number of triage systems allowed by this plan that factors in underlying health vulnerabilities, which would determine who goes to the front of the line for health care. 

Characteristics such as race and socio-economic status should not be considered, experts agree. Wynia said an ideal setup would have an independent triage team at a hospital making these decisions with only the necessary information about patients. The doctors actually treating the patients would not have a say.

But, if there’s no other way to decide, Wynia said it could come down to simple chance: A lottery.

“If you can’t make the decision based on clinically relevant factors, that’s what public polling and focus groups have told us people think is fair,” he said. “If push really comes to shove, that is the fairest way to allocate a very scarce resource.”


We’ve been giving Gov. Polis a hard time over his harsh rhetoric suggesting folks will die unless they put their lives and livelihoods on hold for days, weeks, months, for who knows how long.

Now it turns out that former Gov. Hickenlooper actually put a death sentence into play.

It’s quite an eye-opening story. We suggest you give it a full read.