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Okla. H.B.1403 "Nondiscrimination in Treatment Act" Requires Futile Treatment

Posted Apr 25 2013 8:47am
It looks like Oklahoma will be following Idaho in enacting a "Nondiscrimination in Treatment Act."  While the title of H.B. 1403 seems innocuous, the result is basically a mandate to provide surrogate-requested "life-preserving health care services" even when those services are non-beneficial or even harmful to the patient.  

This bill passed the House in early March.  It passed the Senate two weeks ago.  It was sent to Governor Fallin on Monday.  Here is the key language:

A health care provider shall not deny to a patient a life-preserving health care service the provider provides to other patients, and the provision of which is directed by the patient or a person legally authorized to make health care decisions for the patient:
  1. On the basis of a view that treats extending the life of an elderly, disabled, or terminally ill individual as of lower value than extending the life of an individual who is younger, non-disabled, or not terminally ill; or
  2. On the basis of disagreement with how the patient or person legally authorized to make health care decisions for the patient values the trade-off between extending the length of the patient's life and the risk of disability.

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