8/22/12 — Texas has an awful futile care law. It permits hospital bioethics committees to impose members/doctors’ values that a patient’s life is not worth living based on quality of life. A story just out shows the injustice of the process–a terrible law about which I write here in more detail.
On August 6, a 12-year-old boy was shot in the head. Even though a reliable diagnosis and prognosis for persistent unconsciousness requires at least 3 months, hospital personnel reportedly went in rapid succession from “donate his organs” to “end his life” mode. From the Spero News story:
But on August 13, the hospital convened an “ethics panel”, a legal entity where under Texas law medical officials can make a decision that care would be futile to restore the quality of a patient’s life. If they decide care would be futile, the hospital can terminate care after 10 days.
That’s only one week from the shooting.