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Colorado doctor challenges her firing from Centura Health over assisted suicide

Barbara Morris alleges Centura Health retaliated against her in violation of Colorado's assisted suicide law

Dr. Barbara Morris, a geriatrician with Centura Health, was recently fired for wanting to help her patient with Colorado's End of Life Options Act. (Heidi de Marco/KHN)

A Colorado doctor fired after tying to help a terminally ill man obtain drugs to end his life has filed an updated lawsuit that challenges her firing by a Christian hospital company.

In the case against Centura Health filed Monday, Dr. Barbara Morris alleges it retaliated against her in violation of Colorado’s assisted suicide law and that it unlawfully inserted itself the doctor-patient relationship. Colorado law prohibits corporations from interfering with a physician’s professional judgment.

Morris was fired in August after she and patient Neil Mahoney asked a judge to say whether Centura could stop her from helping him. He has sought help elsewhere and isn’t part of lawsuit anymore.

MORE: His wife was first to use Colorado’s aid-in-dying law. His advocacy made him an accidental resource for others.

Centura said Tuesday it’s now only an employment contract case about whether an employer can fire a worker who violates its policies.

However, Morris attorney Jason Spitalnick says it’s about whether Centura’s polices can violate Colorado law.