29th Jun 2018
Under Oklahoma law, every adult should consider planning for end of life decisions and scenarios with an Advance Directive for Health Care. It is not the only item to consider, of course, but it is the second of the three basic documents every estate plan should consider. Below is a quick summary:
An Advance Directive for Health Care only kicks in when two doctors determine you are no longer to make decisions about your own healthcare. Even if you are very sick, as long as you can make and communicate your own decisions, those will govern.
In addition to being unable to make decisions about healthcare, the Advance Directive for Health Care only kicks in under three limited circumstances: a) a terminal illness that will result in death within six months regardless of the treatment; b) persistent unconsciousness in which thought and awareness of self are absent; or c) an end-stage condition.
When inability and one of the three conditions described above are present, the Advance Directive for Health Care then kicks in and is used to follow the wishes of the maker on two major options. Under an Advance Directive for Health Care, you can decide to HAVE: a) life-sustaining treatment extend your life; and b) artificially administered nutrition and hydration extend your life. OR, you can decide to NOT HAVE : a) life-sustaining treatment extend your life; and b) artificially administered nutrition and hydration extend your life. It is not a life-extending or life-shortening document – it allows the choice. You can also refuse life-sustaining treatment, but accept artificially administered nutrition and hydration.
MAKING AND USING
People make the Advanced Directive for Health Care when they are of sound mind and planning for the future. People who make an Advance Directive for Health Care only use it later, only if and when the maker becomes unable to make and communicate their healthcare decisions and falls into one of the three conditions outlined above. The Advance Directive for Health Care is not practically used during healthy stages of life, times of minor illness or even most severe illness, or any other circumstances other than outlined above.
These are obviously very difficult and personal decisions. However you feel about these issues and whether you choose to address them in advance, you should at least be aware of the Advance Directive for Health Care in Oklahoma.
If our office may be of assistance to you in these areas, do not hesitate to contact us at (580) 338-6503 or at firstname.lastname@example.org or using any of our contact information in the profile. You can also visit www.fieldandhicks.com for more information.
This blog contains general information and the opinions of the author – not legal advice; you should seek the advice of competent counsel (attorney/lawyer) when considering any legal issues.