29th Jun 2018

Under Oklahoma law, every adult should consider planning for end of life decisions and scenarios with an Advanced Directive for Healthcare. 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:

INABILITY

An Advanced Directive for Healthcare 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.

THREE CONDITIONS

In addition to being unable to make decisions about healthcare, the Advance Directive for Healthcare 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.

TWO OPTIONS

When inability and one of the three conditions described above are present, the Advanced Directive for Healthcare then kicks in and is used to follow the wishes of the maker on two major options. Under an Advance Directive for Healthcare, 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 Healthcare when they are of sound mind and planning for the future. People who make an Advanced Directive for Healthcare 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 Advanced Directive for Healthcare 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 Advanced Directive for Healthcare 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 coryhicks@fieldandhicks.com 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.

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