Physician Update

New Surrogate Decision-maker Law In Effect

HB 1894 became law on Nov. 1, 2017. 

Legal Services has worked to educate clinicians, staff and administrators about the law and implications on institutional policy and practice.

Broadly, this law creates next-of-kin legal statues in Oklahoma. The surrogate decision-making priority list differs from the current INTEGRIS policy. The new law requires an affidavit be signed if a close friend is the surrogate decision-maker for a patient lacking decision-making capacity.

However, this is a general overview. While there is great overlap between the law and ethics, interpretations of a new law or answering fine-grained questions about it are outside the scope of clinical ethics. As a result, to support clinicians in getting the best information for providing the best care to patients, ethics consultations about the new law or clarification questions on surrogate decision-making, next-of-kin, limitations on types of healthcare decisions (e.g., general vs. end-of-life), and affidavits, will be directed to contact legal services. 

If you have questions, please contact your facility’s specific attorney or use the afterhours legal service pager (405-951-2393).