Law Gives Terminal Patients Living Will

Article excerpt

Oklahomans with terminal diseases and their relatives have a new option concerning "life-saving" or "heroic measures" because of a recently enacted law that provides for a livingwill.

House Bill 1165, signed into law by Gov. George Nigh in May, provides Oklahomans the right to decide if they wish to prolong their lives by artificial means in the event they have a terminal medical condition.

While the new law provides for the cessation of artificial life support, Andy Thurmond, a member of the Oklahoma City law firm of Miller, Dollarhide, Dawson & Shaw, cautioned physicians and hospitals as to the will's use.

"Doctors need to distinguish carefully between what is a terminal condition and an imminent situation," Thurmond said. "If a person has cancer and while under treatment has a heart attack, the willwould not take effect. But once there is no hope, the will would take effect," he said.

"As long as there is a possibility of a return to a meaningful life, the living will would not go into effect."

Thurmond said the new law was proposed previously, but met with substantial resistance in the Legislature. But with the support of several senior citizens groups, the bill was passed last session and signed into law. . .

- Charles Kothe, a nationally-recognized expert in administrative law, has joined the University of Tulsa as a consultant to the university's department of development.

Kothe has served as labor relations counsel in the oil, glass, construction, lumber, gas, airline, and metal fabrication industries, as well as newspapers, radio and television.

He also has served as a consultant to the various committees in the U.S. Department of Labor.

He was recently appointed by the White House to serve as special counsel to Clarence Thomas, the chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Kothe is finishing a five-year term on the Tulsa Civil Service Commission, to which he was appointed in 1980. . .

- John Lowe, professor of law and associate director of the National Energy Law and Policy Institute at the University of Tulsa, has been elected a member of the executive committee of the board of trustees of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation. …

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