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August 22, 2006

Texas Hospital seeks to end care of woman with brain injury

Topics: Euthanasia

The Dallas Morning News recently published the following article about a Texas hospital that decided to end the medical care of a mother. Texas has been recently criticized for it's notorious law that allows hospitals to end medical care to criticially ill patients within 10 days of an ethics committe's decision to end medical care.

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"The children of a North Texas woman with a severe brain injury are fighting to keep her alive, after a Carrollton "hospital ruled it would discontinue life-saving treatments."

"And the family's attorneys are waging a legal battle to prove that a Texas statute allowing hospitals to end treatment against the family's will is unconstitutional."

"Lacresia Webster and her siblings say their mother, Ruthie Webster, is deeply religious and believes only God should give and take life. While Ruthie Webster has been largely unresponsive since early this summer, when a bad reaction to a kidney dialysis treatment sent her into seizures, her kids say she has shown signs of improvement. The 61-year-old is now breathing without a ventilator."

"My mom spent her life in the church. She always felt like, 'Who are we to decide? God decides,' " Lacresia Webster said Thursday. "If this is the way she's going to be, she's still my mom. I'm not giving up on her."

"But documents signed by officials at Regency Hospital of North Dallas, where Ruthie Webster has been since late June, indicate that Mrs. Webster is not expected to recover and that continuing the treatments would be futile."

"Mrs. Webster has not been declared brain dead, and hospital officials wouldn't say whether she's in a vegetative state. But family members said she appears to be in a coma: She opens her eyes and moves her feet and hands slightly but doesn't speak."

"My mother, she's breathing on her own, just like you and I are today," said Helena Webster Hill, who lives in Atlanta. "As long as she's fighting to live, we believe we ought to stand with her and fight with her."

Read the full report here

Posted by Mary at August 22, 2006 6:00 PM


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