Palliative Care

The Vision Becomes a Reality

Most Oklahomans have a vision of what we want if we suffer serious chronic or terminal illness and we are no longer able to communicate our decisions.

"I will want my wishes honored"

All of us want our wishes regarding medical care to be honored. Oklahoma law allows us to plan ahead if we become unable to speak for ourselves.  In that event our family, friends, and health providers are not left with the burden of wondering what we would choose at this most vulnerable time.

The Oklahoma Advance Directive and Appointment of Health Proxy laws allow us to make our own medical decisions in advance regarding the difficult issues of artificially administered nutrition and hydration, and whether cardiac pulmonary resuscitation is appropriate depending on our medical condition. These laws also allow the opportunity to name another trusted individual to make such decisions for us if we lack capacity.

 "I will want comfort from pain."

We want to know that ourhealth care providers understandexpert pain management and will not allow us to experience needless suffering.

Modern medicine continues to achieve many good and important goals, but it has its imitations. This can lead to difficult ethical and emotional issues for patients and families facing serious chronic or terminal illness. In these situations, many of us fear a prolonged period of dependence, mental incompetence or pain. Particularly, when no cure is possible, quality care to relieve needless suffering is often more appropriate than extraordinary medical procedures that will only prolong the dying process.  Oklahoma law provides immunity to my physicians if I choose to have effective pain medication which may hasten my death.

"I will want to receive competent medical care."

In order to make appropriate decisions, patients nearing the end of life and their families need to know what their choices are.

The mission of the Oklahoma Palliative Care Resource Center is to highlight some of the complex issues involved in making end-of life decisions. This website will also explain medical diagnoses and technology that may be available to prolong life. It will provide a clearinghouse to respond to issues and questions that consumers and health providers may have regarding palliative care.

In addition to advocating for these covenants, the goal of the OPCRC is to encourage a continuing dialogue about these issues, stimulate questions, and encourage conversation with family and health providers so that Oklahomans can make informed decisions about the type of care that we want for ourselves and our loved ones.

OU Medicine Palliative Care Consult HERE