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May 25, 2007

Futile Care Law Dies

Topics: Futile Care Laws

The bill that would modified the Texas Care Law has itself been declared futile:

A proposal to extend the time for medically futile patients before a hospital can cut off their life support has died in the Texas House, a victim of legislative deadlines and backroom disputes.

The legislation, already approved in the Senate, had been scheduled to be voted on in the House on Tuesday. However, it never came up for debate before a midnight deadline set for the passage of certain bills.

"It's dead -- dead for now," Rep. Dianne White Delisi, a Temple Republican who sponsored the measure, said Wednesday. She said the comprehensive proposal needed more time for debate than was available before the House gavel fell for the night.

Why you ask? Wesley Smith suggests an astonishing answer:
The "good" bill, which would have required hospitals to maintain treatment pending a transfer to another hospital would have breezed to passage, and in the process given a body blow to Futile Care Theory. Then, inexplicably, the Catholic Bishops (I believe at the behest of the organization representing Catholic hospitals) opposed the bill and threw its considerable heft behind a bill extending the 10-day cut off to 21-days.
Note that Texas is one of the few states with a timetable allowing hospitals to decide when to end life support. Under existing law, the family is guaranteed only two days before the hospital ethics committee meeting then 10 days before the termination of treatment -- a total of 12 days, unless a court intervenes.

Quite pitiful.

Posted by tim at May 25, 2007 10:26 AM

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Wait -- Is the futile care law dead, or not? Or is the movement to stop it dead?

If so the law is dead - YES!

It violates due process under the fourteenth amendment.

The movement won't die - Not Dead Yet has been going on for 11 years and we're still protesting the "better dead than disabled" rhetoric.

Posted by: Bobby at May 28, 2007 10:08 PM

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