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Texas law allows hospitals to unilaterally decide when to end treatment for a patient. This decision discounts the religious beliefs of patients and their families. Church Militant's Trey Blanton highlights the forces that are allowing passive euthanasia to persist in the Lone Star State.
Catholic governor Greg Abbott called for a special legislative session to begin this morning. Agenda items include election integrity, border security and banning critical race theory in schools. Notably missing was a key pro-life priority — protecting the sick.
According to legislative associate for Texas Right to Life Rebecca Parma, "The governor can keep adding items to that agenda for the next 30 days so we would encourage pro-life Texans to continue to contact the governor. Urge him to include repealing the 10-day rule."
The Texas Advanced Directives Act allows hospitals to end treatment, even when there are still viable options for recovery, unless families can find a hospital willing to accept transfer within 10 days. District 1 state senator Bryan Hughes notes, "Experience has taught us, if we can learn anything based on the scores of families we've heard from, I think we've learned that 10 days is not enough time for that transfer to take place."
The so-called 10-day rule incentivizes hospitals to end treatment because it's easier than fighting for life. The hospital's decision trumps religious considerations or moral conscience of patients who want to live till the end of their natural life.
Senator Hughes continues:
You should know this, [section] 166.046 in the Health and Safety code does not limit this process to terminal patients. Patients who were cognizant, who were able to speak. One was able to write, "No. I want to live," and gave that to her loved one right before they began to withdraw treatment from her.
Fort Worth bishop Michael Olson has sided with the hospitals, opposing patients' right to live. Olson told legislators people should not cling to life because it shows a lack of hope in the hereafter, and, also, doctors should be trusted to know what's best. Olson explains, "It's not unlike a patient who comes in and demands hormonal treatment at the age of 13 or 14 because of transgender therapy and the physician says to the patient or parent, 'I don't think this is right. I think it is morally unethical.'"
Tinslee Lewis is one patient who proves doctors can not only be wrong but will also lie in order to preserve hospital autonomy. Doctors misrepresented Lewis' condition in court and asserted the girl would be dead within six months. Lewis passed the deadline a year ago, and the family of the nearly two-and-a-half-year-old girl continues to fight for her life in court.
Parma concludes, "This law is not pro-life. This law violates, like we said, due process, it violates the right to life and it victimizes vulnerable patients in Texas — and that's not a pro-life principle."
As the legislative session plays out, it's another case of Catholics opposing life.
Church Militant has received letters showing the Texas bishops' conference has a policy of opposing pro-life measures supported by Texas Right to Life, the state's largest pro-life group.