Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Texas Futile Care Law

There is a case going on in Texas right now dealing with the Texas Futile Care Law. The bill, signed in 1999 by then Governor George W. Bush, allows hospitals to end life-sustaining treatment to patients whose medical treatment is declared "medically futile." Read the entire law here: Texas Statutes Health & Safety Code, Chapter 166. Advance Directives (specifically Section 166.046)

From the Washington Post:

Since Dec. 28, baby Emilio Gonzales has spent his days in a pediatric intensive care unit, mostly asleep from the powerful drugs he is administered, and breathing with the help of a respirator. Children's Hospital here declared his case hopeless last month and gave his mother 10 days, as legally required, to find another facility to take the baby. That deadline, extended once already, was due to expire Wednesday, at which time the hospital was to shut off Emilio's respirator. Without the machine, Emilio would die within minutes or hours, hospital officials have said.

Gonzales and her lawyers are seeking a transfer for the child, diagnosed with a terminal neurometabolic disorder called Leigh's disease, to a hospital that will perform a tracheotomy and insert a feeding tube so that he can live out his life in the facility or at home with his mother. But Children's Hospital doctors have declared that continuing treatment is potentially painful and is prolonging the child's suffering.

Read the rest of the article here.

On Wednesday a Judge issued a temporary restraining order preventing the hospital from ending the life-sustaining treatment. A hearing is set for April 19th.


Health Watch Center said...

My prayers are with Catarina Gonzales...I hope she is going to take her son to the other place which, she mentioned where they are ready to accept Emilio. It's very hard for anyone what Catarina Gonzales is going through , Hats off to her positive attitude, love for her child and strength.

Self Help Zone

Anonymous said...

I read some interesting commentary on this over at the Free Capitalist website today. The author argued that it was in the best interest of the child to take him off life support. Summary of the artlice is that Wwen another person’s life hangs in the balance, a choice must be made between selfish compassion and loving compassion. The only endurable and principled choice is love. -- m.s.