Oklahoma Law on Advance Planning for Health Care
Why advance planning for end-of-life heath care is important for Oklahomans: Video
FAQ's for Advance Planning
Oklahoma Advance Directive Laws
Advance Directive Forms
- Order forms from DHS: Publications may be ordered by calling 1-877-283-4113 or 962-1721 in the Oklahoma City area. You may also fax a request to (405) 524-9633. You may also e-mail your order to the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) at Bill.Gulick@OKDHS.org
Appointment of Health Care Proxy Form
If my attending physician and another physician determine that I am no longer able to make decisions regarding my medical treatment, I direct my attending physician and other health care providers , pursuant to the Oklahoma Advance Directive Act, to follow the instructions of _____________, whom I appoint as my health care proxy. If my health care proxy is or becomes unable or unwilling to serve, I appoint _____________ as my alternate health care proxy with the same authority. My Healthcare proxy is authorized to make whatever health care decisions I could make if I were able, including decisions regarding life-sustaining treatment and specifically decisions regarding the withholding and withdrawal of artificially administered nutrition and hydration.
With advancement in medical technology, life-sustaining treatments are available that could maintain many of us far longer than we may personally consider meaningful life. Meaningful life is defined by one's own values and beliefs.
Autonomy, usually through informed consent or refusal, is an established principle of the law and ethics. It allows a competent adult to accept or reject any offered health care treatment. The problem is that when the time comes to make these decisions, many of us may not have the capacity to make our wishes known.
Capacity to make treatment decisions means an individual is able to understand the relevant information, reflect on it in accordance with his or her values, and communicate a decision to caregivers.
To provide some direction to health providers, Oklahoma law presumes that we would want to be resuscitated in the event our heart stops beating or we stop breathing. It also presumes we would want to be fed through a tube inserted into the stomach in the event we could not eat and drink naturally by mouth. These legal presumptions protect those of us who want these medical interventions. But for those who do not wish to have these measures and who are unable express the wish to refuse resuscitation orrefuse to be fed through a tube, the burden is on them to make and communicate our wishes before we loose capacity to do so.
How to make your wishes known:
In Oklahoma, there are four legal tools for advance planning which set out individual healthcare decisions. They are:
- Living Will;
- Appointment of Health Care Proxy;
- Do-Not-Resuscitate Consent; and
- Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care..
The OPCRC web site will provide ongoing information regarding Oklahoma law and legal forms related to advance planning.