I submitted an editorial to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram which they have titled, “Nuckols: Navigating healthcare’s difficult decisions.” It was published March 28, 2013, but I can’t tell whether it’s in the dead-tree version. (In case you ever wondered, no one notifies the author when a piece like this or a letter to the editor is published. I think it increases their readership, all of us checking back to see whether we made it to print.)
The paper had published a very biased and poorly written op-ed calling the Texas Advanced Directive Act, “the Texas Futile Care act.” Although the Star-Telegram corrected this one error, the piece has unfortunately been picked up by several other websites.
The editors edited: giving the piece its name and changing all my references to “TADA” and “the Act” to “the act.” They also did some research and posted a little biography that I was surprised to see. (I wouldn’t have been foolish or brave enough to give these credentials without checking in with the people they might have affected.)
I do wish that the paper had researched the original article more thoroughly. It’s so bad that I decided not to link to it.
I was privileged, back in 2006 and 2007, to sit in on a couple of year’s worth of the meetings that I mention in the article. We all worked diligently to come up with some compromise other than going to court on every disputed case. Because our compromise fell apart at the very last minute, families are still faced with only 48 hours between the notice that an ethics committee has been called and ten days’ notice if transfer is pending. I hope we can come to an agreement in 2013 to make these decisions a little easier, while keeping them out of court and in the realm of physicians’ medical judgment.