When your kid heads off to college what happens if there is an emergency? Will you be notified and have access to information?
Heading off to college is an exciting time. If you are 18 there are laws that are designed to protect your privacy even from your parents. Most young adults value their privacy. However, one law called the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or “HIPAA” may prevent your parents from receiving vital medical information about you in the case of an emergency. This law prohibits release of information to unauthorized persons. In short, doctors or hospitals may refuse to discuss your situation even in an emergency.
An In-Case-of-Emergency Card can insure that your parents have access your medical information.
Click to enlarge.
This card provides contact information for your parents. It also lists any medical conditions and allergies. Finally, it provides a way for medical providers access to a HIPAA release so that they are comfortable sharing your information with your chosen family members. The doctor or medical facility can receive this information by fax or download.
The recent tragedy at the Oklahoma State University Homecoming Parade illustrates how the card can help. The medical responders would have the contact information immediately on hand. The HIPAA release would insure that the staff had permission to speak to the parents. The medical conditions listed on the card would speed the medical decision making. That is why I got one for my daughter.
Contact my office to find out how to take care of your student.
The Advance Directive and HIPAA Forms are for Oklahoma Residents Only.
This video explains more about HIPAA:
Short video describing the DocuBank Card and Service
Advance Healthcare Directives the Living Will
Every adult should have an Advance Healthcare Directives sometimes called a “Living Will”. This is a legal document which instruct health care providers of the level of care you desire if you are unable to speak for yourself. Generally three conditions are anticipated 1) terminal condition, 2) persistently and irreversibly unconscious and 3) end of life condition. If the patient is unable to communicate the Living Will provides health care providers with instructions. Oklahoma’s statutory form suggests three levels of treatment to chose from:
Do everything possible to extend life including artificially administering nutrition and hydration if I unable to take these by mouth.
Do not provide any life extending treatments but do artificially provide nutrition and hydration if I unable to take these by mouth.
Do not provide any life extending treatments and do not artificially provide nutrition of hydration is I am to by take these by mouth.
Patients are no limited to these options and can provide detailed instructions.
Health Care Representative or Proxy
An adult may also nominate a Health Care Representative or Proxy to make treatment decisions when the patient is unable to do so for him or herself.
Organs and Tissue Donation
Oklahoma’s form provides an area that allows for the donation of selected organs, tissue or the entire body. These may be donated for another recipient, research or teaching.