Monday, March 21, 2005
Two examples of the Texas Law
Baby born with fatal defect dies after removal from life support
The 17-pound, 6-month-old boy wiggled with eyes open and smacked his lips, according to his mother.
Then at 2 p.m. [March 15, 2005], a medical staffer at Texas Children's Hospital gently removed the breathing tube that had kept Sun Hudson alive since his Sept. 25 birth. Cradled by his mother, he took a few breaths, and died.
Sun's death marks the first time a hospital has been allowed by a U.S. judge to discontinue an infant's life-sustaining care against a parent's wishes, according to bioethical experts.
Texas law allows hospitals can discontinue life sustaining care, even if patient family members disagree. A doctor's recommendation must be approved by a hospital's ethics committee, and the family must be given 10 days from written notice of the decision to try and locate another facility for the patient.
Hospitals can end life support, Decision hinges on patient's ability to pay, prognosis
A patient's inability to pay for medical care combined with a prognosis that renders further care futile are two reasons a hospital might suggest cutting off life support, the chief medical officer at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital said Monday.
Dr. David Pate's comments came as the family of Spiro Nikolouzos fights to keep St. Luke's from turning off the ventilator and artificial feedings keeping the 68-year-old grandfather alive.
Mario Caba-llero, the attorney representing the family, said he is seeking a two-week extension, at minimum, to give the man more time to improve and to give his family more time to find an alternative facility.
A neurologist told [Mr Nikolouzos' wife], she said, that he is not brain-dead and the part of the brain that controls breathing is still functioning. Although his eyes were open and fixed when he first was placed on the ventilator, he has started blinking, she said.
Once again, I am not taking an opinion on whether treatment should or should not be withheld. I think these questions are between family and doctors. In pointing out these two cases, I only want it to be seen that in Texas, the state has involved itself in this matter. And done so under the governorship of Bush. Oh, what state does DeLay represent?