The state's 10 Day Rule allows a hospital ethics panel to decide whether a patient is worth saving. Family members of those who are not are given 10 days to find another facility to care for the patient before medical personnel pull the plug.
Kimberlyn Schwartz of Texas Right to Life is reminded of the situation of baby Tinsley in Ft. Worth, Texas.
"Tinsley, whenever she was nine months old, her hospital used the 10 Day Rule against her, trying to take away her ventilator against her mother's will," the pro-lifer recalls. "Thankfully, Texas Right to Life stepped in to save her. Now she's four years old, and she's home with her family."
As AFN has reported, both houses of the Texas Legislature have sent to Governor Greg Abbott (R) a bill that changes the current law by requiring hospitals to perform the necessary procedure for transferring a patient before the countdown begins.
"It specifies that the process, the 10-day process, would now be 25 days," Schwartz continues. "It can't be imposed on competent patients, people who can make their own decisions, and yet we've seen that with current law. And it prohibits decisions that the hospital committee makes from being based on the quality of life of the patient."
In other words, it is no longer up to the hospitals to decide whether a patient's life is worth saving; that is a decision for the patient or family to make.
Schwartz adds, though, that the new bill is not perfect, so her organization will be pursuing more changes in future legislative sessions.