Oklahoma Health Care Proxy
Effective November 1, 2017 Oklahoma has passed new laws regarding the order of priority for classes of individuals that can make health care decisions for individuals who are incapable of communicating their desires to the health care provider.
Statutory Decision Making Priority1. Guardian of the Person - A Guardian of the Person is a person appointed by the district court pursuant to the Oklahoma Guardianship Statutes. A guardian is appointed for minors when needed, and for individuals who are physically or mentally unable to care for themselves.
2. Health Care Proxy - A Health Care Proxy is a person appointed by the patient in a document such as an Advanced Directive or Health Care Power of Attorney that was executed while the patient was competent and capable of appointing a Health Care Proxy.
3. Attorney-In-Fact - An Attorney-In-Fact is a person appointed in a document pursuant to the Oklahoma Durable Power of Attorney Act who had been given authority with regard to patient*s health and medical care decisions.
4. Patient*s Spouse
5. Adult Children of the Patient
6. Parents of the Patient
7. Adult Siblings
8. Other Adult Relatives of the Patient in Order of Kinship
9. Close Friends of the Patient - These close friends must have maintained regular contact with the patient sufficient to be familiar with the patient*s personal values. They must execute an affidavit showing they meet the standards to qualify under this law.
As you can see from list above, it is beneficial for the Patient to execute documents ahead of time so that they may choose who will act on their behalf during their time of need.
Who May NOT ActNo person who has been found to have committed abuse, verbal abuse, or exploitation may make health care decisions regardless of their position in the list. In addition, anyone who has been charged as described above may not make health care decisions for the patient unless such person has been acquitted or those charges have been finally dismissed.
Advanced DirectiveIt is important to understand that a validly executed Advanced Directive (otherwise referred to as a Living Will in some jurisdictions) will control what care will be provided to the patient when the health care provider has determined that death is imminent. The Advanced Directive gives the health care provider instructions as to the patient*s wishes regarding the desire to have their life prolonged by artificial means when in an end stage condition. When an Advanced Directive is in place, no one has legal authority to override the patient*s stated desires. Further, once the patient is determined to meet the conditions of the Advanced Directive, the health care provider is required to follow the instructions provided in the Advanced Directive.