OKLAHOMA CITY – Legislation allowing Oklahoma courts to grant guardians the power to consent to withdrawing or withholding life-sustaining procedures through a separate order was signed into law by the governor on Monday.
House Bill 2588 was authored by State Rep. Sean Roberts, R-Hominy, and was carried in the Senate by Sen. Julie Daniels, R-Bartlesville. The legislation requires issuance of a separate court order that contains specific findings of fact and conclusions of law required under the Oklahoma Advance Directive Act to grant authority to a guardian to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining treatment of a ward.
“House Bill 2588 gives an added level of protection for those who are on life support,” said Roberts, who chairs the House Public Health Committee. “Life is valuable and sacred, and this legislation will help ensure drastic measures are not taken hastily. I want to thank Governor Stitt for quickly signing this piece of legislation to uphold life.”
“This law protects our most vulnerable Oklahomans when possible end of life decisions are being made,” Daniels said. “By requiring a separate court hearing to determine if a guardian can move to withhold life-sustaining treatment from the ward, this measure ensures that guardians cannot substitute their own judgment for what may be in the best interests of the ward.”
The bill will become effective Nov. 1.