Gary Coleman: Ex-Wife Had Power To Make Medical Decisions

Gary Coleman and Shannon Price
Gary Coleman and Shannon Price
Gary Coleman and Shannon Price on Feb. 26, 2008. (AP)

NEW YORK (CBS) The ex-wife of late actor Gary Coleman had the right to make medical decisions during the final days of the 42-year-old star's life. Coleman died Friday of a brain hemorrhage.

PICTURES: Gary Coleman: 1968-2010

Shannon Price, 24, had been granted legal rights if Coleman became incapacitated and she was allowed to remove Coleman from life support last week.

"Mr. Coleman had completed an Advanced Health Care Directive that granted Shannon Price permission to make medical decisions on his behalf if he was unable to do so," reads a statement released by Utah Valley Regional Medical Center.

Although Price told hospital employees she was Coleman's wife, the two had legally divorced on Aug. 12, 2008, according to divorce papers obtained by Entertainment Tonight.

"An Advanced Health Care Directive remains in effect regardless of a patient's marital status, unless modified by the patient," the medical ccenter reported. "It is a private medical document which the hospital does not have permission to release. However, we received permission to confirm that the document was in effect at the time of Mr. Coleman's death."

No other information has been released because of federal privacy laws.

Coleman had been undergoing dialysis for kidney disease at the time of his death.  He was born with congenital kidney disease, the treatment for which stunted his growth at an early age, and he suffered from related health issues all his life.

Coleman and Price were still living with each other when he died.

Gary Coleman Has Died At Age 42