A durable power of attorney (or health care power of attorney) is a legal process that gives a trusted individual the authority to make health care and end-of-life decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated. For example, the designated individual named in a durable power of attorney (the "agent") can consent to your medical procedures or even have you removed from life support if it is indicated in your living will. While these are put into action when a patient has lost his or her capacity to consent, they must be drafted and signed while the individual is of sound mind.
The Durable Power of Attorney in Oklahoma
Under Oklahoma's Uniform Durable Power of Attorney Act, an individual may grant the agent either complete or limited authority over health care decisions (PDF). However, life-sustaining treatment decisions may only be made by the agent if the power of attorney complies with state requirements for a "health care proxy" (PDF).
The following chart provides additional details of Oklahoma durable power of attorney law. See The Power of Attorney, Living Will, and Your Health Care for a summary.
|Code Section||Tit. 58 §1071, et seq.; Ch. 17A Uniform Durable Power of Attorney Act|
|Specific Powers, Life-Prolonging Acts||Agent may grant complete or limited authority to make health and medical care decisions but not life-sustaining treatment decisions unless the power complies with requirements for a "health care proxy" under Oklahoma Rights of Terminally Ill or Persistently Unconscious Act, Tit. 63 §3101 et seq.|
|Legal Requirements for Durable Power of Attorney||(1) Signed; (2) 2 adult witnesses who sign in the presence of the principal and each other; (3) substantially the same form as Tit. 58 §1072.2 (4)(3)|
|Revocation of Durable Power of Attorney||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 executed in another state if substantially complies with the Uniform Durable Power of Attorney Act|
|If Physician Unwilling to Follow Durable Power of Attorney||Physician shall take all reasonable steps to arrange for care by another physician|
|Immunity for Attending Physician||No civil, criminal, or professional liability for carrying out the directives of durable power of attorney in good faith and in accordance with reasonable medical standards|
Note: State laws are not etched in stone and may change at any time through the enactment of new statutes, opinions from higher courts, and other means. Be sure 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 Durable Power of Attorney Laws: Related Resources
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