Texas Right to Life has been instrumental over the years in saving the lives of people victimized by the current law known as the 10 Day Rule. Pro-lifer Kimberlyn Schwartz explains that it allows a hospital to determine whether it will continue to treat a severely ill or injured patient. If not, then the family has 10 days to get the patient transferred to a different facility before the plug is pulled.
After meeting with the pro-life group about the issue, the Texas House has approved a solution.
"This new bill (HB 3162) would make several improvements, such as requiring a hospital to perform any procedures that are necessary to transfer that patient to another facility before the hospital can start the countdown," Schwartz relays.
Another provision protects patients who are competent.
"We've seen time and time again the 10 Day Rule being forced upon patients who can actually communicate their own wishes," the pro-lifer notes. "This bill says you can't do that, and it prevents decisions from being made on perceived quality of life judgments."
In other words, medical personnel can neither decide the quality of a patient's life nor end anyone's treatment based on that judgment.
A patient's family must also be given more notice of the ethics committee meeting and more days to secure a transfer.
The House has sent the bill to the Senate, where it is likely to pass but must do so before the legislative session ends on May 29th.