A living will (or health care directive) is not technically a will, but a legally binding document stating one's medical care and end-of-life preferences should they become unconscious or otherwise unable to provide consent. For example, a living will -- written and signed while an individual is still of sound mind -- may stipulate that he or she does not want to be kept alive by artificial means. If that person gets into a serious accident, loses consciousness, and faces the prospect of death without the insertion of a feeding tube, then the health care facility must honor the living will and allow the person to die naturally.
The Basics of Oklahoma Living Wills Law
Under Oklahoma's Rights of the Terminally Ill or Persistently Unconscious Act, an individual may authorize the withdrawal of artificial life support. However, this doesn't include pain relief or the "normal consumption" of food and water. In order to be considered valid, the Advance Directive for Health Care (living will) must be signed before two witnesses.
Additional provisions of Oklahoma living wills law are listed in the table below. See FindLaw's Living Wills Basics section for more articles.
||Tit. 63 §3101.1 et seq.; Rights of the Terminally Ill or Persistently Unconscious Act
|Specific Powers, Life-Prolonging Acts
||Any medical procedure or intervention that will serve only to prolong the dying process including artificial administration of nutrition and hydration but only if declarant has specifically authorized its withdrawal. Does not include treatment to alleviate pain or the normal consumption of food and water
|Legal Requirements for Valid Living Will
||(1) 18 yrs.; (2) of sound mind; (3) signed by declarant; (4) witnessed by 2 adults; (5) in substantially the same form as §3103.4(B); (6) operative when communicated to attending physician and when declarant can no longer make decisions regarding the administration of life-sustaining treatment; not operative during course of pregnancy
|Revocation of Living Will
||Revocable in whole or in part in any manner at any time without regard to declarant's mental or physical condition. Effective upon communication to physician
|Validity from State-to-State
||Effective if complies with Oklahoma law or in compliance with law of that state so long as it does not exceed authorizations allowed under Oklahoma law
|If Physician Unwilling to Follow Durable Power of Attorney
||Physician shall take all reasonable steps to arrange for care by another physician; must comply with decision until transfer.
|Immunity for Attending Physician
||No civil, criminal, or professional liability for carrying out the advance directive pursuant to statute in good faith and in accord with reasonable medical standards
Note: State laws are constantly changing. You may want to contact an Oklahoma estate planning attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
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Oklahoma Living Wills Laws: Related Resources