Former NBA Star Could have Future Ex-Wife Making Medical Decisions

Basketball

Lamar Odom and Khloe Kardashian may appear to be split on reality TV, but on paper, their divorce is not final. That could leave the former NBA player's estranged wife with the role of making medical decisions for him. Odom, who has an address in Henderson, and Kardashian both signed off on their divorce in July, but the case has not even been assigned to a judge in the backlogged Los Angeles court system. A court spokeswoman said that a final resolution can take months. The judgment packet has been received and awaits a review by a judicial officer, and there are no hearings scheduled at this time, said Mary Eckhardt Hearn, director of public information for Los Angeles Superior Court. Former L.A. Lakers forward Odom was found unconscious at a brothel in Nye County. He remains at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center in Las Vegas, according to several people who have visited him and spoken to the media afterward. But officially, Odom was not registered as a patient at Sunrise — a status that was his right through federal laws designed to shield patient information from the public. Anyone who called asking about Odom was told his information did not appear on the hospital registry, the same answer someone would get if he wasn't a patient there at all. "Only information that comes from a hospital spokesperson is considered legitimate information," said Stacy Acquista, a marketing executive with the Far West Division of HCA, the company that owns Sunrise.

A story in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, "With open divorce case, Khloe Kardashian could be making Lamar Odom's medical decisions,"explains just who is allowed to make medical decisions.

Nevada law spells out who will make medical decisions for patients who become incapacitated, which are sometimes called substituted judgment statutes. In the Silver State, spouses or registered domestic partners are first in line. If Odom does not have advanced directives, legal documents stating his health care choices, Khloe would be the one to make these decisions.

There are several types of advanced directives, including living wills and medical powers of attorney. These estate planning documents let individuals make their wishes known to family, friends, and health care professionals to avoid confusion in cases like Odom's.

Odom may have an advanced directive which would apply. By signing an advanced directive, you select the individual you want making your decisions for you.

The Nye County Sheriff's Office stated that Odom had been using cocaine and sexual performance enhancers in the days prior to being discovered unconscious at Love Ranch brothel in Crystal, about 90 minutes outside of Las Vegas. (Nevada is the only state with legalized prostitution, and county regulations say that business licenses can be revoked if brothels have drug issues).

In addition to his 2009 and 2010 NBA Championships with the LA Lakers, Odom is known for being part of the Kardashian family. Khloe filed for divorce in 2013 after four years of marriage.

Reference: Las Vegas Review-Journal (October 18, 2015) "With open divorce case, Khloe Kardashian could be making Lamar Odom's medical decisions"

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