Thursday, April 25, 2013

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

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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Obviously, Oklahoma needs this ACT to prevent covert and overt DNR Code status from being misused to shorten the lives of elderly patients to cap unreimbursed costs. Medicare and the private insurers do not reimburse for errors, omissions, and non-beneficiasl (for profit) overtreatment of Medicare/Medicaid patients. The bill should work to greatly reduce overtreatment for profit of the elderly.

The Bill doesn't speak to "medical futility" as such but it doesn't mean that physicians/hospitals in Oklahoma can't invoke medical futility which will force Oklahoma to enact a due process procedure when "medical futility" is disputed by the patient or the surrogate.

The bill doesn't change the law of the PSDA wherein the patient or the legal surrogate can determine that any further treatment is futile and shorten their lives to shorten their suffering ---does it?

So, why are you saying that this Act will reuire futile treatment?