Advanced Directive for Healthcare

What is an advance directive for healthcare?

An advance directive is a legally binding document that contains your wishes regarding both a “living will” and the appointment of a healthcare proxy.

Living will: A living will is a legally binding document that makes known your wishes regarding the withholding or withdrawal of life-sustaining procedures in the event you are no longer able to make decisions regarding your medical treatment.

Healthcare proxy: You may select another person to make healthcare decisions for you (a healthcare proxy) if you are unable to speak for yourself. These decisions may include the withholding or withdrawal of care, as well as matters of more routine care.

If you do not have a living will or have not appointed a healthcare proxy and you are unable to make healthcare decisions because you are unconscious or not competent, your physician will consult with your immediate family in making decisions on the withholding or withdrawal of care and matters of routine care.

What are St. John Health System’s policies on advance directives?

  • Advance directives properly executed in accordance with the Oklahoma Advance Directive Act, which do not conflict with the moral or ethical policies of St. John, will be accepted as the exercise of your rights to appoint a healthcare proxy and to accept or refuse life-sustaining treatment, including artificially administered hydration and nutrition, if you are incapable of making medical decisions for yourself.
  • Advance directives executed in another state will be accepted to the extent they are valid under Oklahoma law.
  • Advance directives that do not meet the requirements of the Oklahoma Advance Directive Act are not binding on the hospital or your physician, but will be given weight in any decision-making about life-sustaining care for patients.
  • St. John does not condition the provision of care or otherwise discriminate because you have or have not executed an advance directive.

How long are advance directives effective?

In Oklahoma, advance directives are effective until they are revoked. Still, it’s considered a good idea to initial and date your advance directive every few years to show that it still expresses your wishes.

What if I change my mind?

You can revoke or amend your advance directive at any time simply by destroying the form, deleting certain sections, or by telling your physician or nurse.

Where can I obtain an advance directive?

This link takes you to a copy of an advance directive booklet. You may also contact your physician or attorney, who will be able to provide you with a copy. Once completed, discuss your wishes with your family, next of kin or other responsible parties; leave a copy of your advance directive with your physician, lawyer and a close family member and, if possible, bring a copy to St. John’s admission department so that it can be placed in your medical record.

For help

Contact: St. John Clinical Resources, 918-744-2299.