The Texas State House has upheld a controversial directive that endows physicians with the power to withdraw life-sustaining treatment from patients against the wishes of their family.
The Texas Advance Directives Act (1999) is a legal provision which allows health care facilities to discontinue life-sustaining treatment ten days after giving written notice to the family if the medical panel deems it futile.
However, after the rule was invoked to end the life of a stroke victim earlier this month, a legislative bid was launched to scrap the directive. However, after passing through the Texas State Senate May 13, SB 2089 failed to get through the House.
As a result, the “10-day rule” will remain for the foreseeable future.
“Despite the valiant effort of Senator Bryan Hughes and others, the 10-Day Rule will not be repealed this legislative session,” pro-life campaigner and director of Right to Life East Texas, Mark Dickson, told Faithwire.
“This means that we will be fighting against hospital death panels and seeking to save patients that fall victim to this horrible law for, at least, another two years.”
“The Texas House of Representatives gave hospital committees a pass to pull the plug on patients against their will for at least the next two years,” wrote pro-life organization, Texas Right to Life of the decision.
Speaking of the House’s reasons to oppose SB 2089, a pro-life lobbyist source told Faithwire that the “committee wants to be friends with the medical lobby instead of actually protecting patients,” before noting that the situation was “very horrible.”
The case of Carolyn Jones
When 61-year-old stroke victim Carolyn Jones was admitted to a Houston hospital and placed on life-support, her family did not know they would be battling against those who took an oath to care for her. However, due to the 10-day rule, that nightmarish situation became a reality.
After physicians decided they were going to withdraw life-sustaining treatment from Carolyn, the family were forced to take action — partnering with Texas Right to Life to raise the funds necessary for a life-saving transfer.
Eventually, after much prayer and some incredibly generous donations, Jones was removed from Houston’s Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital and ferried via private ambulance to Ben Taub Hospital, which is staffed by faculty, residents, and students from Baylor College of Medicine.
There, the dedicated medics immediately ensured that Carolyn was adequately cared for.
“Not only did they accept her, but they agreed that she needed dialysis if she was going to live,” explained pro-life campaigner Mark Dickson, who has been advocating on behalf of the family.
“Because Ben Taub had no extra beds, they arranged an emergency transfer to another hospital that was ready and willing to help Carolyn Jones get the life-sustaining treatment that she desperately needed,” Dickson added.
For now, Carolyn is out of the woods and being cared for — something her supporters say is a massive answer to prayer!
“Thank you Jesus. I know Texas Right to Life and Right to Life of East Texas are both extremely grateful for everyone who played a role in helping Carolyn Jones get the help that she needed,” Dickson said.