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Arguing Abortion on YouTube

I usually agree with this doctor. But not about abortion. ZDoggMD, Zubin Damania, has a sense of humor and a sense of balance. But today, he demands that we to “come to the center” because 1 in 4 women in the US have an abortion by age 45. “It happens.”

Well, according to the 1860 US Census, approximately 25% of families owned slaves. “It happen(ed).” Common ground was hard to find there, too.

The question is whether or not abortion ends the life of a human that is human-enough to possess the Human Right not to be killed. Are they one of us and can we kill them if they don’t threaten our lives?

The first question has been definitively answered, at least scientifically. Louise Brown was born 5 years after Roe v Wade. Serial ultrasounds showing the progression of the egg to embryonic organism to fetus were possible soon after. (I’m tempted to echo the ZDogg, “Grow up and get into the 21st Century.” But of course, I won’t.)

Answering these questions according to ethics and law can’t be addressed by science and requires a bit more discussion. Nevertheless, the trend in Western societies has been toward including all humans as rights bearers endowed with at least the right not to be killed or treated as the property of another and preventing legally sanctioned killing and enslavement, regardless of characteristics, abilities, or background.

Beyond the life of the mother, the rest of ZDogg’s arguments are the usual justification for what I call, “I want” ethics, including arguments for the “control of the woman’s body,” the health of the woman, and exceptions for rape and incest.

Nik Hoot, a 20 year old young man from Indiana, lost his feet and part of his legs and fingers to an attempted abortion, but survived to be adopted, eventually a State Semi Finals high school wrestler, and a productive member of society. His mother’s body didn’t lose limbs; his did. As he says, he has to “live with someone else’s choice.”

As to the health of the mother, how could anyone know at 12 weeks that there will be sequelae at or after delivery?

The safety of abortion is most often reported using short term data. There’s support for increased mortality and morbidity in the long term, however.

Late discovery of fetal abnormalities isn’t a good argument in favor of induced abortion, either. After 15 weeks and definitely after 20, it’s statically safer for the mother to carry to term.

I won’t even entertain arguments that crime is down because the unwanted are killed. “Minority Report” has a double meaning, here.

Here’s an article from The Atlantic – not an “anti-choice” publication, by any standard – focusing on the rape exception.

Let’s face it: the wrong human is killed by abortion justified by reason of rape or incest. If you cringe at that statement, you might want to consider why.

Edit: Comments are closed. Please comment on my Facebook page.

Beverly B Nuckols, MD

I reconsider conspiracy theories

“.#NYTimeline: Pelosi declares a “cover up,” goes directly to meet @POTUS & it’s all “Trump Blows Up Meeting,” “tempestuous clash” & waging “war.” @NYT” (My tweet, this morning)

I’m not into conspiracy theories, because I’ve always doubted that 2 people can keep secrets. But evidently, a larger number can, if motivated like the WaPo, NYT, Brennan, Comey, State Dept., and the adulterous gang McCabe didn’t lead. For a while, at least…

The collusion, if you will, between the media and the Intelligence Community (IC) is pretty obvious and becoming more so by the day.

So, in contrast to my usual skepticism:

I’ll bet that the early 2017 media clique skipped over reports that the President was objecting to the counter investigation. They couldn’t know – or admit to knowing – about the information classified by the Obama administration before the inauguration. Those that might have heard – in all the leaks and reports that “came over the transom” – instead preferred to harp on the President’s denial about the Russian election interference.

It’s no surprise (now) that he was doubting the Intelligence Community from early on: he was hearing about “collusion” at the same briefings where he heard about the Russian election interference. If the IC was lying about one, why not the other?

Where are the BuzzFeed-like exposés about the investigations, the leaks?

There’s a good chance that, as happened here in Texas in the 2018 Senate race, media simply decided to withhold some of the”news that’s fit to print” and spread a little “darkness” (WaPo’s motto) of their own.

Updated information on TRTL, end of life, and money

One Texas Right to Life (TRTL) lawyer has posted an update on Facebook about the “rescue” of Mrs Carolyn Jones. I’m afraid that, as with the declaration that another patient was “slain,” TRTL is gaming the Medicare funding and Texas medical systems for political purposes.

Emily Cook, General Council for TRTL, wrote that she worried that “funny business clinically would happen as we moved her” from the hospital where Mrs. Jones has been admitted for over 6 months, where the docs had weaned her off the ventilator and wanted her to transfer to a more appropriate level of care facility over 2 months ago.

Emily says TRTL spent their own money (*see my last paragraph) to put her in a private ambulance and take Mrs. Jones to another hospital ER. That hospital couldn’t provide dialysis, so they in turn transferred her via ambulance somewhere else, to yet another hospital until admission can be arranged at the nursing home.

Even Lawyer Cook admits that the first move wasn’t “legit.”

Cook-ing the system

There were comments on various sites that the original hospital had refused transfer. However, from what I’ve read, it’s likely the hospital was refusing to be complicit with “patient dumping.” For a hospital to knowingly discharge a patient for the purpose of transferring to the ER of another hospital without (or even with) the acceptance of the transfer from the docs at the other facility is highly irregular, and likely goes against Medicare regulations.

Mrs. Jones’ Medicare funding for the original hospitalization is bound to have run out some time ago. Normally, Medicare will allow 90 days per admission, with an extra 60 “reserve” days, once per person, per lifetime. The patient is responsible for part of the bill from the first day of admission, and for the total hospital costs after the eligible days.

But there are still Medicare regulations to deal with in the case of “Medicare eligible” patients, even when they aren’t paying.

As to the refusal of the original hospital to accept private payment for in-hospital dialysis, there were 2 issues: Medicare funding about privately payment for covered services and the probability that the physician-patiebt relationship would be reset, along with the 10 days in the statute.

Medicare makes it very difficult and risky for everyone to navigate the private pay process. When I had a question in my private medical office about whether Medicare would cover something, we had the patient sign an informed consent agreement and an acknowledgement that the patient might have to eventually pay if Medicare denied the service. Then we performed the service, filed the charge with Medicare, waited to be denied, and then tried to Bill the patient. I gave away a lot tetanus vaccines and removed a lot of moles and warts for free to avoid the risk of “fraud and abuse” from the likes of Janet Reno.

The same risk would have applied if the hospital had privately charged Mrs. Jones’ Dialysis.

I don’t believe the first new hospital is at risk for a charge of “dumping” if they documented a legitimate reason. However, both new hospitals will be able to charge the Jones copays and co-insurance. They may also find Medicare coverage limited because of the way Mrs. Jones left the original.

Another, discussion has concerned the delay in funding from Medicaid:

“Medicaid limits 2019” (a .PDF)

I certainly don’t know the Jones’ financial circumstances, and I may have over estimated the maximum income in early speculation. However, there are strict maximum Medicaid income and asset levels. These vary according to age, disability, and marital status. (Even the government bureaucratic Leviathan doesn’t want the spouse if a nursing home patient to end up indigent.)

In my experience, the social workers and benefits experts at hospitals and nursing homes are experts at negotiating and translating the bureaucracy. In addition, the disabled Medicare eligible person will have access to a benefits specialist. I’ve never had a hospital discharge and nursing home admission blocked by this “paperwork.” Certainly not for months at a time.

*TRTL hasn’t updated their Carolyn Jones fundraising numbers since last week. That “Family Assistance Fund,” part of their 403(c) PAC, (AKA the Educational fund”), has been posted as a little over $33,000, since last Friday.

I hope TRTL assists the Jones family with what is certain to be several enormous hospital bills. As long as they pay the bills directly, the funds won’t be counted as income to Mrs. Jones.

Why does TRTL lie? (UPDATE)

I can’t tell you why, but it’s true: Well below their “Donate Now” banner, Texas Right to Life (TRTL) is shamefully spinning another one of their false stories.
Just as they lied on their website that Chris Dunn was “slain by his doctors,

they now post that a woman, Mrs. Carolyn Jones, had to be “rescued” from hers, “racing” to another facility “in the middle of the night.”

Okay, it’s night in that picture. That and the proper names are the only things they got right.
Mrs. Jones wasn’t “rescued” from the hospital that has been giving her excellent care for over 6 months. Nor were her doctors and nurses “surprised.” that she was able to breathe on her own. After all, they were the ones who weaned her from the ventilator over a month ago.
What was expected was that Mrs. Jones would be transferred out if the hospital where she’s been admitted since November, 2018 to a more appropriate, lower level of nursing care two months ago.
On April 10, Mr. Jones testified to the Texas Senate Health and Human Services Committee that, thanks to the hospital doctors, his wife now needed the ventilator only “occasionally at night.”

The family were given notice that they needed to transfer Mrs. Jones in March. They’ve had another doctor and three facilities capable of providing the treatments she needs waiting to accept Mrs. Jones.

When the family of a hospitalised patient refuses to allow her to be transferred to a more appropriate treatment facility, the attending doctor has no legal means other than the 166.046 process laid out in the Texas Advance Directives Act (TADA). This is the legislation that has been called the “Futile Care Law” in the past, but TRTL likes to call it the” 10 Day Rule,” now, in spite of their rejection of effort after effort, etc., to expand the time frame and increase transparency and assistance. This is the issue that led to the rebuke (.PDF) of TRTL by the Texas Conference of Catholic Bishops and gleefully reported by the liberal press in Texas
The Jones family are real people, scared and hurting. Mr. Jones somehow was misled to believe the lie that “food and water” would be removed. I would have thought that at least one of the many, many lawyers at TRTL would have assured him that that is not legal under Texas law.
Instead, the Jones family’s fears – and your compassion – are being used as a means to TRTL’s political – and fundraising – ends.

And now, TRTL – in direct competition with – and with absolutely no mention of – Mrs. Jones’ family’s GoFundMe campaign – has been raising money in Mrs. Jones’ name. They state that the funds will be used for (TRTL) lawyer’s fees in addition to Mrs. Jones’ healthcare needs and that “excess” funds will go to help (TRTL’S) efforts for other patients.

I hope that TRTL’s money will also be used to pay for the very large hospital and doctor’s bills that the Jones family will receive. While there’s a chance that Texas Medicaid will pay for three months of medical bills, retroactively, Medicare doesn’t pay for hospitalizations over 90 days and has a 20% co-insurance (co-pay).

That’s bound to have added up in over 6 months.

We’ll just have to trust that TRTL won’t lie again.

Beverly B Nuckols, MD

Edit, Updated information:

One of the bloggers has told us more about that “rescue.” (Or today’s story, anyway.)

TRTL put her in a private ambulance and took her to *another ER,* one that couldn’t provide dialysis, so they then transferred her somewhere else.

There were comments about the first Hospital refusing transfer — no, refusing to be complicit with “dumping” a patient. Discharging to without ( or even with) acceptance of the transfer from the docs at the other facility is highly irregular and likely illegal.
Much has been said about funding. Yes. It appears that Medicare funding ran out, so no longer paying. 90 days per admission, with an extra 60 days over, under certain conditions.

About that Medicaid funding: I don’t know the limits of the mandatory asset tests, but the yearly income level is $60,000. One way to adapt is to spend money on medical costs.

Medicare makes it difficult to navigate the private pay process. When we had some question, we got informed consent, promise to pay, then performed the service, filed with Medicare, waited to be denied, then tried to Bill the patient. The risk is always a charge of “fraud and abuse.”

The same thing would have happened if the hospital had privately charged for Dialysis.

(5/20/19, BBN)

Life Ethics

Western classical liberal ethics has favored “deciding” that all humans are human-enough to possess human rights. 1.Are they human? 2.Can we kill them? The answers have been increasingly 1. Yes, & 2. No. That’s not #Patriarchy. It’s a good basis for a #sentient, civil society.

HatTip to a FB poster, Clint Stutts, for the questions.

False story about Texas Advance Directives Act (TADA)

I’m a subscriber to the new reader-supported online news site, The Texan which is the project of former State Senator, Konni Burton, having recently paid for the annual subscription. (A heads up: if you click through on all my links, you’ll risk using up all your free views this month.)
But I’m disappointed to see a definite spin in today’s news story about the Texas Advance Directives Act (TADA), even though one of my WingRight blog posts is quoted.

TADA isn’t just for disagreements over whether CPR and ventilator support are “medically inappropriate treatment” It covers any dispute between the doctor and the hospitalized patient when “the attending physician refuses to honor a patient’s advance directive or a health care or treatment decision made by or on behalf of a patient.” (emphasis mine) This could be demand for inappropriate surgery or medications or if the patient refuses to leave the hospital or be transferred after 6 months, for instance.
From all the previous news reports and blog posts, her husband’s testimony to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, and a few of my blogs, Mrs. Carolyn Jones’ case seems to be a disagreement over whether to transfer her from the hospital, where she’s been admitted and improving for about six months.

Mrs. Jones is not dependent on the ventilator.

In fact, it sounds like Mrs. Jones has had excellent treatment at the hospital,

even after the Committee meeting on March 8.

Mr. Jones told the Texas Senate Health and Human Services Committee that the doctors at the hospital successfully weaned Mrs. Jones from the ventilator.

He also said that three other facilities are ready for her admission.

Drew White, Senior Editor of The Texan, and I communicated by email over the weekend, after I wrote to explain some errors in the news coverage.

I’m happy to see that today’s article by reporter Tony Guajardo quotes both opponents and supporters of TADA and corrected the impression that Mrs Jones is dependent on the ventilator: “She requires dialysis, occasionally needs a ventilator for breathing assistance, and uses a feeding tube.

All of these treatments are routinely provided at lower level of care facilities, other than tertiary hospitals.

And yet, today’s The Texan article still misrepresents this case: “UPDATE: Recovering Beaumont Woman’s Life-Sustaining Treatment to End Due to 10-Day Rule.”

There’s also a quote from Mrs. Jones’ daughter, repeated from the earlier article: “My mom is going to die on Monday because of a law that saves hospitals money.”

It turns out that money and Medicaid paperwork is actually what is keeping the family from allowing Mrs. Jones to be transferred to another doctor and facility. The family is concerned that they (rather than the hospital) will be responsible for the costs of Mrs. Jones’ care.

This is in spite of the fact that when a patient first goes on dialysis, she becomes immediately and automatically eligible to apply for Medicare and Social Security Disability.

Depending on assets and income, patients unable to work on dialysis also qualify for Medicaid and other State benefits in Texas. Medicaid will even pay bills retroactively for three months.

Even more than usual, I double checked all of my information to ensure that I’m right that Mrs. Jones isn’t dependent on hospital treatments – since it was reported in the article that the hospital would withdraw “life-sustaining treatments” at 2 PM, today, May 13, 2013.

The good news is that she isn’t dependent on the ventilator, dialysis is not constant but only 2-3 times per week and paid by Medicare, food and water by the feeding tube can’t be withheld under TADA.

Hopefully, the Jones family will finally agree to transfer her, even if costs them more than her Medicare & Social Security Disability will pay.

Have they no decency?

Now, Texas Right to Life is blatantly lying, posting an article on their website entitled “American hero slain two days before Christmas …”

“slain?”

Far down in the piece, there’s this:

“Chris passed away naturally on December 23, 2015 – two days before Christmas.”

Mr. Dunn died from his metastatic pancreas cancer, on full medical treatments. His mother, Mrs. Kelly actually thanked those who cared for him at the hospital.

Every article on TRTL’s website has a “Donate” button at the top, prioritizing money over the people whose stories they use to raise money and influence the Texas Legislature. Now, we see this completely dishonest caption.

Just what is their mission and how can we trust them?

Hurting patients and families

Facing the life-threatening illness of a loved one is hard enough, without misunderstandings. It’s cruel when people who claim to be helping don’t correct those misunderstandings.
I can’t comment on on Texas Right to Life’s (TRTL’s) recent Facebook post, where the organization is, frankly, spreading falsehoods and perpetuating misunderstandings that are bound to make a difficult process even harder.
The story about the family of Mrs. Carolyn Jones is one I’ve covered before.
I believe that the Jones family could be – should be – reassured about the care and treatment that Mrs Jones is receiving. In my post, today, I would like to further clear up some of the problems in TRTL’s reporting.
Significantly, on April 10, 2019, Mr. Jones testified to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee ( at 52 minutes into the video, near the end) that, on March 8 of this year, after 4 months’ admission, the hospital held what he says was the second ethics committee meeting. After the meeting, the family believes that the hospital informed them that Mrs. Jones needed to be transferred by March 18, or her oxygen, food and water, and dialysis would be stopped.
Why hasn’t anyone told Mr. Jones that withholding or withdrawal of even IV Artificial Administered Hydration and Nutrition (AAHN) is prohibited by the very law he believes should be repealed?
Mr. Jones testified that over the last month, his wife has since been weaned from the ventilator, only needing assistance “sometimes at night.”

I don’t understand why TRTL repeats that a ventilator tube prevents Mrs. Jones from speaking or eating. Mrs. Jones has a tracheostomy in place (the tube we see in the pictures is a feeding tube). The tracheostomy, even when a ventilator is attached, would not interfere with her ability to speak and swallow, with training.

Breathing assistance, AAHN, and dialysis can all be provided by the 3 facilities – and at least one doctor – that have agreed to accept Mrs. Jones as a patient.
TRTL is using the grief of the Jones family to solicit donations and to lobby for a Bill I’ve also written about, SB 2089, that would require “treatment until transfer.”
In this case, the treatment that is disputed is transfer from in-hospital treatment after 5 months to a lower level facility that is able and willing to provide what Mrs. Jones needs.
Comments are closed here. (I just can’t keep up with all the sites.) Please comment on my Facebook page.

End of life or end of hospital stay?

What a tragic story!

While I only know what I’ve seen online, in my experience, it appears that the dispute about Mrs. Carolyn Jones is over continued hospitalization at this hospital, versus transfer to care at another facility.

(See this television news report.)

I’m the first to say that hospitals are scary places and to sympathize with families struggling to cope with the bureaucracy and protocols. However the current news, press releases, and pro-life blogs are reporting several errors and omissions about Texas’s law and legislation up for consideration in Austin.

The obvious errors in this report include:
1. First. It’s not correct that Mrs Jones will die on Monday, even if the ventilator is turned off at the hospital. She’s not intubated through the mouth or nose. Instead, there’s a tracheostomy and a feeding tube in place. Supplemental oxygen could be provided many different ways, at home or in a nursing home.
2. Mr. Jones has testified at the Texas Senate Health and Human Services Committee meeting (EDIT: the video is here, at 52 minutes in) on 4/10/19 and elsewhere that Mrs Jones had been weaned off the ventilator, needing it only occasionally, at night.
2. She should be able to speak and swallow with training.
3. Texas Advance Directives Act doesn’t require that the doctor declare the treatment be “futile.” Instead, the doctor must declare that he refuses to follow a certain treatment decision that the patient or family demands .
4. Kidney dialysis is paid for by the Federal government, so the problem isn’t only funding.

In my admittedly limited knowledge about this particular case – it appears that Mr. Jones disagrees that it’s time to move from the hospital to home or nursing home, even after 5 months (not 10 days).

At least since 2005, legislation has been introduced at the State to increase the timeframe to as long as a month. Texas Right to Life refuses to agree to anything other than indefinite treatment, with the doctor forced to act against his will, violating his conscience and ignoring his medical judgement.

TRTL has even clashed with other pro-life organizations and Texas’s Catholic Bishops and “primaried” several conservative Legislators, although they are the only Texas pro-life group that opposes the law.

It would be good to add more time – I don’t know of anyone who disagrees. But there needs to be a limit to how long a doctor is forced to act against his conscience. One Bill that was rumored this year would change the “10 days” to 21 days and add a week to the notification period before the Ethics committee meets. Unfortunately, it never got past the Powers That Be.

For more on the ethics of the Texas Advance Directives Act, see this WingRight post.

The most urgent need is communication with families, correcting misunderstandings like those outlined here.

(Edited May 10, 2019 at 12:22 AST, to correct the Link to the testimony of Mr. Jones. BBN)

Emergency: Liberty Right Infringement

Texas Right to Life General Counsel Emily Cook is attacking Texas Medical Association on Facebook, even though virtually every other pro-life, medical, nursing, hospital, and disability group in Texas oppose SB 2089 by Hughes, that would change the “Texas Advance Directive Act, “TADA” will harm patients and attack the right of doctors to refuse to act against our conscience.

Here’s a partial list of organizations opposing SB 2089: Texas Medical Association, Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission Ethics, Texas Catholic Bishops, Texas Nurses Association, Texas Society for Anethesiology, Texas Osteopathic Association, Catholic Health Association, Texas Hospital Association, Baylor Scott and White, Texas Teaching Hospitals, Texas Alliance for Life, Coalition of Texans With Disabilities.
The central question isn’t “10 days” or the actions of a “Committee.” Doctors start the process, and under the law, the Committee can only affirm that his decision is medically appropriate or not.
The question is whether a patient can demand that a doctor be forced against her conscience to indefinitely write orders and provide treatment she believes is not in the best interest of the patient because the patient or family wants it?
The patient is near death and in the hospital, so the doctor can’t morally just “fire” him if there’s a disagreement. We all agree that 10 days isn’t enough time for families, and have tried since 2005 to add days to the process – we had a Bill that would expand the time to a month in 2007. (CSSB 439)
But Texas Right to Life would/will accept nothing but indefinite “treatment until transfer.” They keep demanding lawyers, courts and trials for medical decisions.
This is the issue that caused the break between TRTL and the Catholic Bishops.
It would force Drs to violate our conscience, without compromising with a set, limited time frame.

We’ve worked to fix other problems: Artificially administered food and water, even full IV feedings, can‘t be removed. Texas law didn’t even mention DNRs, but last session, we passed an amendment with explicit procedures and informed consent language.

SB 2089 ends the ability for a doctor to “refuse” medically inappropriate treatment, only allows “recommending,” (while being legally required to act against her conscience, harming the patient, prolonging death and increasing side effects, requiring more treatments.)

There’s no leeway, at all, in the new Bill.

SB 2089 specifically says anyone can file a lawsuit in any Court in the County, the Court can’t charge the patient (or surrogates) any fees, and the judge is required to rule in 5 days.

More doctors will limit the number of older or sicker patients to keep from falling under the dispute process and the Court battle.
Even tertiary hospitals – teaching hospitals and big City referral hospitals – will find that their doctors don’t want to accept patients from outlying hospitals.
It will kill tort reform, because it’s designed to get all these cases into Court.
It’s like the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, only bigger, in my opinion, because if doctors lose here, we lose the right to conscience in everything.

If you believe that even doctors have the right of Conscience, and that infringement of the right not to be forced to act against your will is wrong, please contact your Texas Senator and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and respectfully ask that SB2089 not be brought up.

You can let me know if you disagree on my Facebook page.

Another kind of lawyer joke

“[T]he doctor/bioethics committee thinks the patient should die.” Wesley J. Smith, Esq., Texas Senate Health and Human Services Committee, 4/10/2019 LifeNews.com

Wesley Smith is a rarity among the many lawyers who chased bioethics to the bedside late in the last century: he actually believes in the sanctity of human life and in the right of conscience. I’ve attended and reported on his debates and encounters with proponents of intentional euthanasia. And even happily defended him.

Unfortunately, Lawyer Smith was not above spinning the truth this month when he came from California to once again misrepresent the Texas Advance Directive Act (“TADA,” “the Act,” or “166.___”), an attempt to balance conflicting rights when doctors disagree with a patient or his surrogates about actual medical procedures and treatments that the doctor believes harms the patient.

On April 10, 2019 Mr. Smith gave invited testimony to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee in favor of SB 2089 (Hughes) and
SB 2129 (Creighton). LifeNews.com published part of his testimony online, under the title, “Texas Rule Allows Hospitals to Essentially Euthananize Patients After a 10-Day Notification.”

Mr. Smith doesn’t just contradict multiple Supreme Court rulings since Cruzan (1990) affirming that withholding or withdrawing treatment is not equivalent to euthanasia. Paradoxically, he echoes arguments that anti-conscience activists use to justify abortion on demand, Physician Assisted Suicide and intentional euthanasia by a third party by claiming that the principle of autonomy supercedes “First, do no harm,” or non-malevelence, and the right to conscience.

(You can watch all of Part I and Part II of the April 10, 2019 Health and Human Services Committee meeting addressing SB 2089 by Senator Bryan Hughes and SB 2129 by Senator Brandon Creighton online. Part I includes Mr. Smith’s testimony beginning at 33:00/1:01:10.)

We’ll skip Mr. Smith’s assertion that there is a right to force others to provide everyone medical care in general, not just in emergencies or at the end of life. I’ve covered these assertions and his attacks on the Texas Conference of Catholic Bishops I’m, back in 2007.

Today, let’s just look at his spin on the current version of TADA.

Lawyer Smith uses emotionally weighted terms that aren’t in TADA, such as, “life-extending,” “futile care,” “permitting the institution to force its will on patients and families,” “invidious discrimination,” and “inappropriate care.” He contrasts patient’s “rights” with doctor’s “values,” and is the first that day to raise the specter of doctors willing to kill when patients are “expensive.” And, reflected in the LifeNews.com headline, Mr. Smith flatly says that TADA allows euthanasia – intentional acts to kill patients – equivalent to the administration of injections or medications that he wrote about this week.

As I’ve stated so many times in past WingRight.org and LifeEthics.org posts, TADA doesn’t allow us to remove or withhold care for patients, only treatments that are “medically inappropriate.” There are no futile patients, only futile treatments that cause harm to the patient over and over, without any expectation of reversing organ failure after organ failure.

Mr. Smith also ignores the multiple attempts by the medical and pro-life community and Legislature to improve the law’s timeframe and communication, much as Senator Creighton’s Bill. One example from 2007, SB 439 by Senator Bob Deuell, would have required written notice and an offer of a private ethics consult to take place at least seven days before the hospital committee meeting. That Bill had a schedule for giving the patient or surrogates written information about the dispute process, copies of medical records, and lists of resources. The family would have been given access to the committee meeting, with their own advocates. When the committee agreed that the treatment requested was inappropriate, the family would have receive assistance in searching for7⅞ another doctor or facility for at least another 21 days. I believe that the Bill bogged down in the House because of opposition from Texas Right to Life to any Bill that did not include liability for doctors and the indefinite “treatment until transfer” in this year’s SB 2089.

In the last five minutes of the Part I video, another lawyer, Texas Right to Life General Council Emily Cook, gave us the best clue about the ultimate goal of her organization: “judicial review.

Ms. Cook and Mr. Smith would have every one of these disputes settled by a Court. This is the Texas trial lawyers’ dream: a huge weapon against our State’s tort reform.

Today, the law specifically allows an appeal to a County probate judge when the Committee agrees with the doctor’s decision. SB 2129 allows a request for an injunction in any Court in the County, enabling “judge shopping.” Since it also prohibits the County from charging the patient or his surrogates any fees, the costs would fall solely on the County.

Ultimately, SB 2129 would make it much, much easier to sue the doctor and the hospital, moving Medical decision-making into the courtroom.

Most of the “stakeholders” for patient rights in Texas (including Texas Alliance for Life, Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission, Coalition of Texans With Disabilities, Texas Medical Association, Texas Hospital Association, Catholic Hospital Association, Texas Nurses Association, and the Texas Conference of Catholic Bishops and many others) oppose both of the Bills that Mr. Smith favored. Since SB 2129 would mandate that the County pick up any Court costs and that the judge make his ruling within five days, don’t be surprised if we hear objections from representatives of these parties, too.

So what’s the “joke?”

It could be the ridiculous notion that Lawyer Smith is a mind reader, able to discern the “invidious” motives for the “discrimination” he feels doctors and hospitals routinely practice:

“To fully comprehend the unjust nature of Texas law in this regard, realize that these “futile care” or “inappropriate care” decisions do not terminate treatment because it won’t work, but because it does. It is keeping the patient alive when the doctor/bioethics committee thinks the patient should die.” (Emphasis from LifeNews.com’s transcript.)

He repeatedly comments that physician’s decisions about medically appropriate treatment are subjective and that they (we) might “project their fears and their desires onto the patient” based on our “values,” rather than medical judgement based on repeated, at least once a day examination of the patient, reports by the nurses and staff and our education and experience.

The joke might be that Lawyer Smith volunteered that the indefinite, repeated evaluation and medical decision-making against the medical judgement of doctors would not be “slavery.” I would like to know what Lawyer Smith calls the legal requirement to use one’s body and brain to carry out actions, including writing orders for nurses and other medical staff, against your will.

It might be tragically funny to watch “judicial review” end up with the two sides hiring expert witnesses – doctors – to give the judge opposing views. There’s dark humor in the realization that ultimately the judge would order the original doctor to use her medical judgement to provide treatment – against her best medical judgement.

But the real joke is that “judicial review” risks the unintended consequence of decisions made by judges like the late t Judge George Greer, who Mr. Smith wrote about in this article.

Comments are closed. Please comment on my Facebook page.

Texas Advance Directive Act 2019 Legislature

The Texas Advance Directive Act is being attacked in the State Legislature, again, as it has just about every Session for the last 10+ years. In my opinion, one group is doing the bidding of the trial lawyers to destroy Texas’s tort reform by attempting to force every end of life treatment disagreement into the Courts.
Here’s my explanation of the Act, written in 2016, as an “effort to balance” patients’ rights and the rights of doctors to practice Medicine according to their consciences, using our best medical judgement. And here is an example of a previous attempt to truly improve the Act.
The opponents of TADA would force doctors to ignore their consciences to continue performing procedures and writing orders – for nurses and staff to carry out – against our best medical judgement, while faced with the moral distress of continuing acts that hurt our patient, as organ system after organ system fails, faster than we can compensate, prolonging and increasing his suffering and death.
For example, yesterday, the House passed a useless Amendment to a useless amendment to HB 1504, the Sunset review and reauthorization of the Texas Medical Board.
(22) in complying with the procedures outlined in Sections 166.045iand 166.046, Health and Safety Code, fails to make a reasonable effort to transfer a patient to a physician who is willing to comply with a directive.
Amendment No. 5
Representative Toth offered the following amendment to Amendment No. 4:
Amend Amendment No.4 by Toth to CSHB 1504 on page 3, line 25, between “Code,” and “fails”, insert “willfully”.””
The amendment is useless because doctors don’t handle or arrange transfers between facilities; the hospital social services staff and nurses do. The only possible exceptions might be ER docs in outlying areas, transferring to a larger medical center or a rare phone discussion between doctors about the patient’s course after the two separate staffs have worked out the logistics. Neither of these would apply in the TADA cases.
Importantly, how would the accusation of “willfully fails to make a reasonable effort” be made? Could there be more vague terms in that sentence than “willfully” or “reasonable?” (Especially in light of TRTL’s claim that 60 attempts weren’t reasonable in the tragic case recently ruled moot and dismissed by Texas 1st Court of Appeals, covered here and here.) Is this an attempt to criminalize the actions of doctors, an excuse to sue in a Court of law?
After the amendment passed, one of the lawyer lobbyists paid by Texas Right to Life tweeted a mean little remark:
The lawyer said that doctors who begin the process in TADA “set the 10 day count and sit on their hands.”
I understand that he never had to ask (to order) a nurse to cause pain to a dying patient, but he should understand that doctors don’t “sit on their hands” during the waiting period. We still perform those life sustaining procedures, write orders, and interact with the patient and family.
In order to push their view point they oppose not only other pro-life organizations, but the Texas Catholic Bishops, the Texas Baptists, and Texas Medical Association. Bills such as SB 2129 or SB 2089 would destroy TADA and undermine Texas’ tort reform.
Of course, once in the Courts, the lawyers would have to hire doctors to testify and the judges would decide between the two sides and order doctors to act against their consciences.
That, or lawyers and judges would be placed in the position of practicing medicine: writing medical orders for nurses and staff to carry out.
In the long run, the risk of civil and even criminal liability of caring for patients at the end of life would drive most doctors away from not only intensive end of life care, but increase the risk for any of us who care for trauma, oncology or geriatric patients.

Edit 19 April 2019 BBN: Comments are disabled here. Please comment at my Facebook page, “Beverly Nuckols.” https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10218835564657861&id=1163711361&refid=52&_ft_=mf_story_key.10218835564657861%3Atop_level_post_id.10218835564657861%3Atl_objid.10218835564657861%3Acontent_owner_id_new.1163711361%3Aoriginal_content_id.2226941544065344%3Aoriginal_content_owner_id.110756395683880%3Athrowback_story_fbid.10218835564657861%3Apage_id.110756395683880%3Astory_location.4%3Astory_attachment_style.share%3Apage_insights.%7B%22110756395683880%22%3A%7B%22role%22%3A1%2C%22page_id%22%3A110756395683880%2C%22post_context%22%3A%7B%22story_fbid%22%3A2226941550732010%2C%22publish_time%22%3A1555527649%2C%22object_fbtype%22%3A32%7D%2C%22actor_id%22%3A1163711361%2C%22psn%22%3A%22EntStatusCreationStory%22%2C%22sl%22%3A4%2C%22dm%22%3A%7B%22isShare%22%3A0%2C%22originalPostOwnerID%22%3A0%7D%2C%22targets%22%3A%5B%7B%22page_id%22%3A110756395683880%2C%22actor_id%22%3A1163711361%2C%22role%22%3A1%2C%22post_id%22%3A2226941550732010%2C%22share_id%22%3A0%7D%5D%7D%7D%3Athid.1163711361&__tn__=-R

Prenatal manslaughter?

Something to consider, from a question on Facebook about abolishing abortion and my discussionof the human rights of prenatal human beings:

I read the article. It seems filled with potholes to extend personhood to an embryo. Would then a mother who, through negligence, caused death or damage to the embryo, say [by] falling down the stairs or drinking alcohol, be guilty of manslaughter?

My answer:

The prenatal human is undoubtedly a member of our species, correct?

The risk of abusive prosecuters doesn’t negate the human right not to be killed or justify two classes of human beings, some with human rights, some not human-enough. It certainly doesn’t justify the current abortion on demand: New York’s abortion until birth or Vermont’s proposedconstitutional amendment that prenatal humans “shall not have independent rights under law.”

This is where there is a clear physiologic and philosophic difference between negligence after birth and before. There is no other human relationship equivalent to pregnancy and gestation. Before birth, she’s harming herself first, the child secondarily.

Just as some people had to learn to accept the full humanity of emancipated slaves, there will be a learning curve for the full humanity of the prenatal human. We can do better than Reconstruction and much better than Jim Crow.

There’s previous experience taking the unique relationship into consideration. We already deal with children harmed by alcohol abuse or born addicted to illegal drugs every day.

While there have been abuses, like the drug testing of mothers in South Carolina, it has been more productive to treat addiction than to prosecute as crimes.

*********

Please comment at my Beverly Nuckols Facebook page.

HB 896 Abolish abortion in Texas

#HB896 @TxLeg

The Texas Legislature only meets for 4 months, every other year. Every session, several Bills are introduced that would regulate abortion in our State. Monday night, April 8,the House Committee on Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence, chaired by Representative Jeff Leach, heard testimony on HB 896, authored by Representative Tony Tinderholt. HB 896 would change Texas law to treat elective abortion for what it is: the intervention intended to kill a member of the human species. The law would require that abortion be treated the same as a felony murder is treated by Texas law: “entitled to the same rights, powers, and privileges as are secured or granted by the laws of this state to any other human child.”

You can watch the testimony in the House Broadcast Archives.

Those of us who believe in human rights must decide whether laws can legitimately divide humans into two classes: those members if our species who are and those who are not human-enough to possess legal, protected (“inalienable”) human rights.

Yes, the law would create complications in a world that’s become accustomed to the act of elective abortion, “spare” human embryos, fetal research on aborted children, and arbitrary “choice” as to which babies live and which are susceptible (in New York State, for instance) to killing on the day before they become citizens by being born.

However, we know how to deal with those complications, because of lessons we learned in our Nation’s history of slavery and the abolishment of slavery. The lives and livelihoods of slave brokers, slave breeders, and slaveholders were disrupted by declaring slavery illegal in the United States, with penalties.

The (dreadful) Supreme Court Dred Scott decision about the status – the “inferior” humanity – of Black slaves has never been overturned by the Courts. In that 1850 ruling, Chief Justice Roger Taney stated that the Constitution affirmed that black slaves were not only property, but “beings of an inferior order” and that they and their descendents could never be citizens of the United States.

Ultimately, a Civil War and Constitutional Amendments 13, 14, and 15 were necessary to outlaw slavery and allow black persons, including former slaves and their children, to become citizens. The 14th Amendment also protected non-citizens, prohibiting laws which “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

A Constitutional Amendment may be necessary in this case, too, but I don’t think so, because of the way Roe v. Wade was decided.

Roe v. Wade is the Supreme Court decision that declared that there was a “right” to abortion under the Constitution. Justice Blackmun refused to

“. . . resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man’s knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer.

“Man’s knowledge” has developed since 1973. Philosophers and theologians may still argue (as they do about the civil rights and personhood of neonates, the disabled, and the elderly) but the science is clear. Ultrasounds, MRI’s, and in vitro fertilization have all demonstrated when the life of human beings begins. Just ask the newest technician in the in vitro lab.

As a doctor, I deny that elective abortion is healthcare. I certainly deny that the baby in utero is a part of the body of the mother. It’s not logical to say that the embryo, then the fetus, is not the same organism that we call a baby as soon as he or she is born.

If nothing else, we now have evidence in the form of serial ultrasounds (US) and in vivo MRI’s that demonstrate that human life is a continuum that begins at fertilization.

Even 30+ years ago in training, I saw US used to follow an oocyte from just before ovulation, to the developing embryo in the uterus a few days later. We’ve all seen the US of children as they develop.

Just this month, a research article in the journal Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience reported on sex differences in functional connectivity of neural pathways in the brain, demonstrated by functional MRI of babies in utero.

Questions were raised by the Committee members and citizens alike about a possible death penalty for the felony murder of the unborn child, about women who are coerced into having abortions and whether or not the mother would be charged and subject to penalties.

Well, what penalty does the State impose for procurement of a contract to kill? What charges are brought against the mother who smothers her baby at birth?

It’s true that laws in Texas have never punished the mother who has an abortion. Part of that is out of compassion for the mother who is seen as a victim of circumstances. However, the main reason is that most laws regulating abortion have been passed under the legislation regulating medical practioners and technology, rather than as a civil or human rights issue.

In fact, abortion performed by the mother has always been treated as self-harm, like attempted suicide. But that custom was established before modern information about human embryology. It was long before medical abortion utilizing Mifepristone ( RU486) or methotrexate. We all know now that the mother is not killing a part of her body in an abortion and certainly not when she pays a third party to do it.

I believe that invoking the threat of the death penalty is a red herring. Our homicide laws recognize the right to kill in self defense (for the life of the mother) and mitigating circumstances such as mental illness and in cases of force and abuse by a third party, allowing for different degrees of homicide.

We don’t, however, allow euthanasia or eugenics in the case of born disabled children or give the mother the “choice” to kill by poisoning or distruction of the body of a child who becomes unwanted after birth.

Texas declared the child an individual before birth back in 2003, creating a penalty for third parties who cause the death of a child, except in the case of intentional abortion by a doctor or when the mother herself acts. There have been several convictions under the Texas Prenatal Protection Act.

In light of our expanded knowledge about human biology, it’s time for the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade and declare what Justice Blackmun deferred: life begins at fertilization and all humans possess human rights that should be protected by the State.

Maybe I’m tilting at windmills, but I would like to see Texas defy Roe v Wade and pass HB 896.

I’ve disabled comments on the blog. Please leave your comments on my Facebook page, “Beverly Nuckols.”

Immunologist denies Imunology (Vaccines)

Here’s a review and critique (with live links, by Skeptical Raptor) on one of the anti-vaxx advocates, an “immunologist” who exaggerated her credentials, makes her money through the big-money scam “Vaxxed,” and who wrote this ridiculous lie:

“”Immunology does not attempt to study and therefore cannot provide understanding of natural diseases and immunity that follows them.””

Banned by prolife website

I’ve sat on this for 4 days, hoping for a response to the questions I sent to 2 of the ‘co-founders” and an editor of the website. (They only use those online forms, so I can’t follow up by email.)

So far, no response from any of the 3.

I’m not going to link to the website, but the address is in the photo.

Unfortunately, the division in the Texas prolife community is deep. The article I attempted to comment on quotes – and disputes – an article I wrote for Texas Alliance for Life a few years ago.

All I wanted to say was that I hope the readers will read that article.

Praying for peace.

(BTW, that case ruling came down in favor of Houston’s Methodist Hospital and the Texas First Court of Appeals refused to declare the Texas Advance Directive Act unconstitutional.)

“KITTENS,” before humans

I didn’t believe the opinion article by Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, that claimed that a Democrat who voted against last month’s S311, the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act,” had then submitted a Bill to prevent the euthanasia of kittens used in scientific research. I assumed it was a spoof or hyperbole.

KITTENS before babies

But no, a simple search proved that Oregon’s Dem Senator Merkley absolutely opposed the Act, even posting a press release and giving his reason in Twitter, @SenJeffMerkley

The Act would not have criminalized anyone. It would only reinforce and clarify the 2002 “Born Alive Infant Protection Act,” by requiring the doctor performing an abortion to provide the same care for a born infant who is unexpectantly delivered alive during a late term abortion that would be provided to any other child in the same circumstances.

The CDC estimates that about 150 babies are born alive during abortions, each year, while acknowledging that the estimate may be low.

Merkley came up with a cute name for his Bill: “Kittens in Traumatic Testing Ends Now.” It’s a shame he didn’t give as much thought to human babies.

“KITTENS,” before humans

I didn’t believe the opinion article by Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, that claimed that a Democrat who voted against last month’s S311, the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act,” had then submitted a Bill to prevent the euthanasia of kittens used in scientific research. I assumed it was a spoof or hyperbole.

KITTENS before babies

But no, a simple search proved that Oregon’s Dem Senator Merkley absolutely opposed the Act, even posting a press release and giving his reason in Twitter, @SenJeffMerkley

The Act would not have criminalized anyone. It would only reinforce and clarify the 2002 “Born Alive Infant Protection Act,” by requiring the doctor performing an abortion to provide the same care for a born infant who is unexpectantly delivered alive during a late term abortion that would be provided to any other child in the same circumstances.

The CDC estimates that about 150 babies are born alive during abortions, each year, while acknowledging that the estimate may be low.

Merkley came up with a cute name for his Bill: “Kittens in Traumatic Testing Ends Now.” It’s a shame he didn’t give as much thought to human babies.

“KITTENS,” before humans

I didn’t believe the opinion article by Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, that claimed that a Democrat who voted against last month’s S311, the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act,” had then submitted a Bill to prevent the euthanasia of kittens used in scientific research. I assumed it was a spoof or hyperbole.

KITTENS before babies

But no, a simple search proved that Oregon’s Dem Senator Merkley absolutely opposed the Act, even posting a press release and giving his reason in Twitter, @SenJeffMerkley

The Act would not have criminalized anyone. It would only reinforce and clarify the 2002 “Born Alive Infant Protection Act,” by requiring the doctor performing an abortion to provide the same care for a born infant who is unexpectantly delivered alive during a late term abortion that would be provided to any other child in the same circumstances.

The CDC estimates that about 150 babies are born alive during abortions, each year, while acknowledging that the estimate may be low.

Merkley came up with a cute name for his Bill: “Kittens in Traumatic Testing Ends Now.” It’s a shame he didn’t give as much thought to human babies.

Please comment on my “Beverly Nuckols” Facebook page.

Human rights =/= “Nature’s rights”

Humans are the only species having this conversation. That, at least, makes us special.
Science, one of the premier journals covering scientific research, has an article on giving “rights” to “Nature,” titled “A rights revolution for nature.”

The “revolution” would be based on human rights, based on previous ethics discourse:

For example, the 1776 American Declaration of Independence held that the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness were self-evident. The 1789 French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen announced that the purpose “of all political associations is the preservation of the natural and imprescriptible rights of man,” such as the right to liberty. These expressions of natural human rights provided a vocabulary for arguing that slavery and other rights violations were wrong. Following the devastating human rights violations of World War II, the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, recognizing the inherent dignity of all humans and a broad array of rights. Many of these rights are not yet a reality for many people, but the Declaration provides a moral blueprint for more-just societies.
Rights-of-nature advocates posit that environmental devastation is a moral wrong that ought to be stopped. This claim is not grounded in scientific evidence but is no less valid than the assertion that harming humans is a moral wrong. Neither human rights nor nature rights can be demonstrated through a scientific process, but we can make inferences about what justice requires on the basis of what we know to be necessary for the flourishing of humans or of nature.”
Please notice that these are *human* rights. While they don’t give us the “right ” to abuse other species or neligently destroy the environment, the main duty imposed on us by these rights is to each other and our children of tomorrow. That is the very definition of a “more-just society.”
And just how would these rights be protected?

Guardians with appropriate expertise could be appointed as representatives.

And when the “guardians” see Nature’s rights as conflicting with our children’s, how well will that work out?

Beverly B Nuckols, MD

Designer slaves

Brave New World is still in the future, but we have the technology to create betas and gammas, etc. And with potential laws that deny personhood or any rights at all under the law to the preborn, we have the legal climate.

The question is, do we have the social climate?

Tell me: Why not manipulate our offspring any way we want if they aren’t human-enough to possess human rights?

Let me know what you think on my “Beverly Nuckols” Facebook page!

Texas’ “Kill ‘Em All Until Birth or They Can Vote” Bill, SB 150

Rodriguez’ Senate District 29

Texas State Senator Jose Rodriquez (D- SD 29, El Paso) has filed his version of the becoming-familiar “Kill ‘Em All Until Birth or They Can Vote (whichever comes last)” abortion Bill, SB 150.

Sec. 170.003. RIGHT TO ABORTION. (a) Every woman in this state has the fundamental right to choose to obtain a safe and legal abortion.
(b) This state or a political subdivision of this state may not prohibit a woman from obtaining an abortion at any time throughout her pregnancy if the termination is necessary, in the professional judgment of a physician, to protect the woman’s life or health.
The Bill repeals most of Texas abortion laws, allows nurses and physician assistants to perform abortions, redefines the treatment of a tubal pregnancy as an abortion and explicitly settles the question about whether birth control and oral écontraceptives can cause an abortion: No, cause Jose said so! (And thus would re-define another term; one which has meaning in medicine and law.)
The Bill specifically changes the Occupation Code, repeals the part of Texas law that bans aborting viable infants after 20 week infants, and sets up a way for women to sue the State or “any political subdivision” of the State if they feel that they are “aggrieved” by them when they want an abortion.

Be sure and read the list of things that can be considered an impediment to an abortion. (Lawyers rejoice!)

It’s odd that the Bill changes the definition of “removal of an ectopic pregnancy.” This will result in a whole crop of abortion providers: every doctor who acts to prevent certain death for both the mother and her child when the fallopian tube bursts at about 6- 8 weeks gestation.
These procedures are necessary for the life of the mother and justified as self defense, under the doctrine of double or unintended effect.
The purpose and intent of treatment for an ectopic pregnancy is not the death of the child, but to remove a real emergent threat. Strict Catholic doctrine doesn’t even allow the killing of or removal of the embryo (some justify this under using the least force necessary in self-defense), but requires removal of the diseased fallopian tube, which necessarily, but unintentionally removes the growing embryonic child, who then dies a natural death. (It turns out that this procedure, although it requires a surgical procedure, results in a lower risk of future ectopic pregnancies. And, if course, any future natural pregnancy would depend upon a functional fallopian tube on the other side.)
The good news is there are no co-authors or sponsors, and no companion Bill in the House. Fortunately, there’s almost no chance of this legislation passing in Texas.

So, El Paso voters, what do you think about your State Senator?

You can better see the edits better at the Texas Legislature website, but here’s the text of the Bill:

CHAPTER 170. PROHIBITED ACTS REGARDING ABORTION AND RIGHT TO

ABORTION

86R1737 SCL-F

By: Rodríguez S.B. No. 150

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
AN ACT
relating to the Whole Woman’s Health Act.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1. (a) This Act shall be known as the Whole Woman’s Health Act.
(b) The legislature finds that:
(1) comprehensive reproductive health care, including safe abortion, is a vital component of a woman’s overall health and of her social and economic equality;
(2) abortion is one of the safest medical procedures in the United States, as demonstrated by available data, including from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, showing abortion has a more than 99 percent safety record;
(3) any regulation of medical care must have a legitimate purpose and advance the goals of improving the quality of care and increasing access to care;
(4) the United States Supreme Court held more than 40 years ago in Roe v. Wade that access to an abortion is a constitutional right and that states may not prohibit abortion before viability;
(5) the right to an abortion has been upheld in multiple decisions issued by the United States Supreme Court, including in the 1992 case Planned Parenthood v. Casey and most recently in the landmark decision Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt;
(6) in Whole Woman’s Health, the court held that the United States Constitution “requires that courts consider the burdens a law imposes on abortion access together with the benefits those laws confer”;
(7) in Whole Woman’s Health, the court further held that courts, “when determining the constitutionality of laws regulating abortion procedures,” must place “considerable weight upon evidence . . . presented”;
(8) applying the standard described in Subdivision (7) of this section in Whole Woman’s Health, the court struck down two provisions of Chapter 1 (H.B. 2), Acts of the 83rd Legislature, 2nd Called Session, 2013, that were designed to close abortion clinics in the state and that the court concluded provided few, if any, health benefits for women;
(9) Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg concluded in Whole Woman’s Health given the safety of abortion, “it is beyond rational belief that H.B. 2 could genuinely protect the health of women, and certain that the law ‘would simply make it more difficult for them to obtain abortions'”;
(10) Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg also observed abortion restrictions that “‘do little or nothing for health, but rather strew impediments to abortion’ . . . cannot survive judicial inspection”;
(11) according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, and American Osteopathic Association, which are leading public health organizations and amici curiae for the petitioners in Whole Woman’s Health, “[w]omen’s access to high-quality, evidence-based abortion care should not be limited by laws enacted under the guise of patient safety but that, in fact, harm women’s health”; and
(12) the 334 restrictions on abortion providers and their patients adopted nationally since 2011 and the 13 onerous restrictions enacted in this state based on pretextual reasons are just a systematic attempt to eliminate access to safe and legal medical care.
(c) In accordance with the United States Constitution, it is the intent of the legislature to prevent the enforcement of laws or regulations that burden abortion access and do not provide legitimate health benefits.
SECTION 2. The heading to Chapter 170, Health and Safety Code, is amended to read as follows:
CHAPTER 170. PROHIBITED ACTS REGARDING ABORTION AND RIGHT TO ABORTION
SECTION 3. Chapter 170, Health and Safety Code, is amended by adding Sections 170.003 and 170.004 to read as follows:
Sec. 170.003. RIGHT TO ABORTION. (a) Every woman in this state has the fundamental right to choose to obtain a safe and legal abortion.
(b) This state or a political subdivision of this state may not prohibit a woman from obtaining an abortion at any time throughout her pregnancy if the termination is necessary, in the professional judgment of a physician, to protect the woman’s life or health.
Sec. 170.004. PROHIBITED ABORTION LAWS; CIVIL ACTION; WAIVER OF IMMUNITY. (a) Notwithstanding any other law, this state or a political subdivision of this state may not enforce a law on abortion that places a burden on a woman’s access to abortion and does not confer any legitimate health benefit to the woman.
(b) For purposes of Subsection (a), a law places a burden on access to abortion if the law:
(1) forces abortion providers to close;
(2) increases the time a woman is required to wait to obtain an abortion;
(3) requires a meaningful increase in the distance a woman is required to travel to access care;
(4) requires medically unnecessary visits to a health care facility;
(5) requires a health care provider to perform a medical or health care service the provider would not otherwise perform;
(6) increases risks to a woman’s health;
(7) causes a meaningful increase in the cost of an abortion procedure;
(8) is enacted solely for the purpose of stigmatizing abortion patients and abortion providers; or
(9) has as its sole purpose or effect decreasing or eliminating access to abortion.
(c) For purposes of Subsection (a), a law confers a legitimate health benefit if the law:
(1) expands a woman’s access to medical or health care services; or
(2) increases an abortion patient’s safety according to evidence-based research.
(d) A person who is aggrieved by this state’s or a political subdivision’s violation of Subsection (a) may bring a civil action against this state or the political subdivision for injunctive relief and damages incurred as a result of the violation. Sovereign immunity of this state and governmental immunity of the political subdivision from suit and to liability are waived and abolished to the extent of liability created under this subsection.
SECTION 4. Section 171.003, Health and Safety Code, is amended to read as follows:
Sec. 171.003. PERSONS WHO MAY [PHYSICIAN TO] PERFORM ABORTION. An abortion may be performed only by:
(1) a physician licensed to practice medicine in this state;
(2) a nurse licensed under Subtitle E, Title 3, Occupations Code, who is operating within the nurse’s scope of practice; or
(3) a physician assistant licensed under Chapter 204, Occupations Code, who is operating within the physician assistant’s scope of practice.
SECTION 5. Section 245.002, Health and Safety Code, is amended by amending Subdivision (1) and adding Subdivision (3) to read as follows:
(1) “Abortion” means an act or procedure performed after pregnancy has been medically verified and with the intent to cause the termination of a pregnancy other than for the purpose of either the birth of a live fetus or the removal of a dead fetus [the act of using or prescribing an instrument, a drug, a medicine, or any other substance, device, or means with the intent to cause the death of an unborn child of a woman known to be pregnant]. The term does not include birth control devices or oral contraceptives. [An act is not an abortion if the act is done with the intent to:
[(A) save the life or preserve the health of an unborn child;
[(B) remove a dead, unborn child whose death was caused by spontaneous abortion; or
[(C) remove an ectopic pregnancy.]
(3) “Commission” means the Health and Human Services Commission.
SECTION 6. Section 245.005(e), Health and Safety Code, is amended to read as follows:
(e) As a condition for renewal of a license, the licensee must submit to the commission [department] the annual license renewal fee and an annual report, including the report required under Section 245.011.
SECTION 7. The heading to Section 245.010, Health and Safety Code, is amended to read as follows:
Sec. 245.010. PERSONS WHO MAY PERFORM ABORTION [MINIMUM STANDARDS].
SECTION 8. Section 245.010(b), Health and Safety Code, is amended to read as follows:
(b) Only a physician as defined by Subtitle B, Title 3, Occupations Code, a nurse licensed under Subtitle E, Title 3, Occupations Code, who is operating within the nurse’s scope of practice, or a physician assistant licensed under Chapter 204, Occupations Code, who is operating within the physician assistant’s scope of practice may perform an abortion.
SECTION 9. Sections 245.011(a) and (b), Health and Safety Code, are amended to read as follows:
(a) Each [A physician who performs an abortion at an] abortion facility must [complete and] submit an annual [a monthly] report to the commission [department] on each abortion performed [by the physician] at the abortion facility. The report must be submitted on a form provided by the commission [department].
(b) The report may not identify by any means the physician performing the abortion or the patient.
SECTION 10. Section 164.052(a), Occupations Code, is amended to read as follows:
(a) A physician or an applicant for a license to practice medicine commits a prohibited practice if that person:
(1) submits to the board a false or misleading statement, document, or certificate in an application for a license;
(2) presents to the board a license, certificate, or diploma that was illegally or fraudulently obtained;
(3) commits fraud or deception in taking or passing an examination;
(4) uses alcohol or drugs in an intemperate manner that, in the board’s opinion, could endanger a patient’s life;
(5) commits unprofessional or dishonorable conduct that is likely to deceive or defraud the public, as provided by Section 164.053, or injure the public;
(6) uses an advertising statement that is false, misleading, or deceptive;
(7) advertises professional superiority or the performance of professional service in a superior manner if that advertising is not readily subject to verification;
(8) purchases, sells, barters, or uses, or offers to purchase, sell, barter, or use, a medical degree, license, certificate, or diploma, or a transcript of a license, certificate, or diploma in or incident to an application to the board for a license to practice medicine;
(9) alters, with fraudulent intent, a medical license, certificate, or diploma, or a transcript of a medical license, certificate, or diploma;
(10) uses a medical license, certificate, or diploma, or a transcript of a medical license, certificate, or diploma that has been:
(A) fraudulently purchased or issued;
(B) counterfeited; or
(C) materially altered;
(11) impersonates or acts as proxy for another person in an examination required by this subtitle for a medical license;
(12) engages in conduct that subverts or attempts to subvert an examination process required by this subtitle for a medical license;
(13) impersonates a physician or permits another to use the person’s license or certificate to practice medicine in this state;
(14) directly or indirectly employs a person whose license to practice medicine has been suspended, canceled, or revoked;
(15) associates in the practice of medicine with a person:
(A) whose license to practice medicine has been suspended, canceled, or revoked; or
(B) who has been convicted of the unlawful practice of medicine in this state or elsewhere;
(16) performs or procures a criminal abortion, aids or abets in the procuring of a criminal abortion, attempts to perform or procure a criminal abortion, or attempts to aid or abet the performance or procurement of a criminal abortion;
(17) directly or indirectly aids or abets the practice of medicine by a person, partnership, association, or corporation that is not licensed to practice medicine by the board;
(18) performs an abortion on a woman who is pregnant with a viable unborn child during the third trimester of the pregnancy unless:
(A) the abortion is necessary to protect the health or prevent the death of the woman;
(B) the viable unborn child has a severe, irreversible brain impairment; or
(C) the woman is diagnosed with a significant likelihood of suffering imminent severe, irreversible brain damage or imminent severe, irreversible paralysis;
(19) performs an abortion on an unemancipated minor without the written consent of the child’s parent, managing conservator, or legal guardian or without a court order, as provided by Section 33.003 or 33.004, Family Code, unless the abortion is necessary due to a medical emergency, as defined by Section 171.002, Health and Safety Code; or
(20) otherwise performs an abortion on an unemancipated minor in violation of Chapter 33, Family Code[; or
[(21) performs or induces or attempts to perform or induce an abortion in violation of Subchapter C, F, or G, Chapter 171, Health and Safety Code].
SECTION 11. Section 164.055(b), Occupations Code, is amended to read as follows:
(b) The sanctions provided by Subsection (a) are in addition to any other grounds for refusal to admit persons to examination under this subtitle or to issue a license or renew a license to practice medicine under this subtitle. The criminal penalties provided by Section 165.152 do not apply to a violation of Section 170.002 [, Health and Safety Code, or Subchapter C, F, or G, Chapter 171], Health and Safety Code.
SECTION 12. The following provisions are repealed:
(1) Section 32.005, Health and Safety Code;
(2) Sections 171.0031, 171.004, 171.006, as added by Chapter 4 (H.B. 13), Acts of the 85th Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, 171.006, as added by Chapter 9 (H.B. 215), Acts of the 85th Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, 171.012, 171.0121, 171.0122, 171.0123, 171.013, 171.014, 171.015, 171.016, 171.017, and 171.018, Health and Safety Code;
(3) Subchapters C, D, F, and G, Chapter 171, Health and Safety Code;
(4) Chapter 173, Health and Safety Code;
(5) Sections 241.007, 243.017, 245.002(4-a), 245.004, as amended by Chapter 198 (H.B. 2292), Acts of the 78th Legislature, Regular Session, 2003, 245.010(a), 245.011(f) and (g), 245.0115, 245.0116, and 245.024, Health and Safety Code;
(6) Chapter 697, Health and Safety Code;
(7) Chapter 1218, Insurance Code;
(8) Subtitle M, Title 8, Insurance Code;
(9) Section 164.0551, Occupations Code; and
(10) Sections 48.03(a) and (d), Penal Code, as added by Chapter 441 (S.B. 8), Acts of the 85th Legislature, Regular Session, 2017.
SECTION 13. The changes in law made by this Act apply only to an abortion performed on or after the effective date of this Act. An abortion performed before the effective date of this Act is governed by the law applicable to the abortion immediately before the effective date of this Act, and that law is continued in effect for that purpose.
SECTION 14. This Act takes effect immediately if it receives a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this Act takes effect September 1, 2019.

Watch “Kathy Tran Presents Virginia Third Trimester Abortion Bill in Committee” on YouTube

The goal of Virginia HB2491 by Delegate Kathy Tran (D-Springfield) is to fight any and all prolife laws, the means is to make certain that some humans are legally deemed not #humanenough to possess human rights. The decision as to which of our children of tomorrow is human-enough would be arbitrary and up to another person who is herself not deemed human-enough in some countries in the world.

The video is part of testimony by Delegate Tran about her Bill HB2491 that repeals most restrictions on abortion. At 1:50, she states the Bill allows abortion through labor if the doctor certifies it’s necessary for the mother’s mental health, when asked if abortion would be allowed when the mother is “dilating.”

The lawyer who speaks after Tran mentions “neurologic” conditions of the child as reasons got late abortions, but is unable to name a qualifying medical condition for the mother, either physical or mental.

No physician attended the hearing. Not surprised, since there’s no ethical way for any physician – even an abortionist – to justify the intentional killing of the child for the mother’s mental or physical health in the 3rd trimester. In fact, after about 15 weeks, it’s statistically safer for the mother’s actual physical health to allow term delivery of a living child.

The act to kill the baby means extra manipulation and extra instrumentation. Especially in the 3rd trimester, these interventions all present added danger to the mother, who will necessarily deliver the child’s body, whether dead or alive.

This Bill by Tran, like the notorious law recently celebrated by lighting the World Trade Center pink on order by Governor Cuomo of New York, is a purely political attempt to dehumanize humans before birth.

As I said, the goal of Virginia HB2491 by Tran is to repeal any and all prolife laws, the means is to make certain that some humans are legally deemed not human enough to possess human rights. The effect will be increased risks to the health of the mother and to the basic, inalienable rights of members of the human species.

Tell me on my Facebook page, what makes a human #humanenough and what do you base your argument on?

Educate and edify!

We need your “voice” on Facebook, Twitter, and on the comments pages of “news” sites.

WingRight.org’s motto is the subject of today’s post. I hope to convince you of the necessity of speaking up in order to “educate” and “edify” (build up and strengthen) our neighbors and fellow citizens. ( We won’t get into the “elect” or pure politics.)

We certainly shouldn’t be silent: the other side sure isn’t. And they won’t go away (or spontaneously come to their senses) if we ignore them.
When I read the mainstream headlines, it’s as though I visit an alternative universe where conservative views are at best misrepresented, and at worst, don’t exist. Conservatives are implicitly – or too often, explicitly – accused of being ill informed, delusional, a “bot,”or the tools of “Faux news” or Rush Limbaugh.
We know better. The opinion pages, supposedly straight new articles, and the comments on each aren’t truthful and certainly don’t reflect the views of the majority of the people I know. We are knowledgeable, do our research, and have drawn our conclusions from the facts and history.
Remember, when you post in public, you’re not just talking to the author of one article or the other commenters: you’re talking to the great majority of readers who *don’t* post. They too may feel alone and isolated, unprepared to advocate, or they are actually the ones who don’t know anything other than what the NYT, CNN, or Saturday Night Live told them. You will probably never know it, but your opinion or information may be the affirmation they needed.
Some practical (and arrogant) advice:

  1. Assume a pseudonym if you need to.
  2. Pick a subject or 2 that you feel comfortable “opining” about and act at least once a day.
  3. Pick just one website to influence, unless you have time to spread out.
  4. Ask advice from trusted sources when necessary.
  5. Be as accurate as you can be – at least, don’t lie or exaggerate for effect.
  6. You might come up with a stock statement that you copy and paste or modify where appropriate. Talking points are an effective tool.
  7. Ignore tacky responses and personal attacks – don’t be distracted or feel you are obligated to engage and argue if you don’t want to.
  8. Correct a mistatement, give a reference, or simply state your reasoned, opposing opinion.

Look at the bulk of comments out there, these tactics are the norm, not the exception.

Think of your efforts as a pebble in a pond that creates a series of rings moving out from the center. The rings will expand, affect and intersect with other people’s little waves. You don’t have to make a big splash: even the tiniest pebble will change the surface.

(Comments are closed on the blog. You can respond on my Beverly Nuckols Facebook page.)

Bashing Trump: Victim shaming, victim denying

Toxic Fact checking!

Toronto Star Washington, DC reporter Daniel Dale (@ddale8) joins in the media’s Trump bashing, with some old fashioned victim shaming: foolish women are deceived into prostitution by “promises of a hopeful future,” not violently kidnapped, gagged and bound.

Well, not often enough for Mr. Dale.

Focusing on the type of tape that President Trump says was used to gag the women, Dale claims that he sought out “experts” who told him that physical, violent kidnapping of women in Mexico in order to traffic them – force them into prostitution – in the US “rarely if ever happens.

Dale quotes a San Antonio “anti-trafficking activist” who woman who has helped 12 such women whose mouths were covered when they were kidnapped. Unfortunately, she didn’t record what was used to cover their mouths.

Oh, and the wall won’t change anything except that it “would merely cause certain traffickers to take more risks and impose higher debts.

After all, less than 2% of women who are trafficked press kidnapping charges.

Dale might put too much weight in the fact that “less than 2%” of women who are trafficked press kidnapping charges. He should listen to the women of Jalisco who tell a story similar to the one the President relates. They then face the resistance of police and authorities with attitudes like Dale’s.

Just how many violent kidnappings across the border would be enough for Mr. Dale and his experts to report the stories of trafficked women instead of a story to prove President Trump wrong?

Making a Home in the BVI

It’s not as easy as it looks!

via Making a Home in the BVI

Select Committee Green New Deal

Are you worthy of the oxygen you breathe, much less the carbon dioxide you exhale?

Well, let’s see what the new Dem Rep from New York has to say:

Select Committee for a Green New Deal
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jxUzp9SZ6-VB-4wSm8sselVMsqWZrSrYpYC9slHKLzo/mobilebasic

How does MasterCard feeeeel about your buying, selling, eating and drinking – or breathing?

Cashless Society, Internet to Dystopia?

The dystopias of Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, Orwell’s 1984, or Bradbury’s Farenheit 451 had nothing available to monitor and police behavior and thought nearly as powerful as the Internet.

Oh, my readers probably were relieved when the powers-that-be halted the Obama Department of Justice’s “Operation Choke Point” pressure on banks to shut down gun manufacturers, buyers and sellers. At one point,the New York State Department of Financial Services was enforcing similar pressure and, in Florida, second-hand sellers like pawn shops were targeted.

But that was *government* acting outside of Constitutional guidelines, not private business. . .

Facebook puts you in “jail?” Twitter suspends or bans you? Just a matter of private companies exercising property rights!

Facebook, Apple, Spotify, and YouTube ban and erase/delete Alex Jones on* the* same* day*? Only conspiracy nuts would see a conspiracy in the timing!

How do you feel about your credit card company conspiring and colluding with Internet platforms to monitor – and “de-monitize” – your actions and speech: “sins,” as arbitrarily determined by the arbitrary ethics or whims of a 3rd or 4th party?

In the same month that Jones was kicked off multiple Internet sites, AmazonSmile kicked the Alliance Defending Freedom off its charity donation program because of pressure from the Southern Poverty Law Center. The SPLC deems ADF a “hate” organization because it defends people like that Colorado baker.
In the last month, one Internet “platform” (not only a host for writing and videos, but a way to collect subscription fees using credit cards and PayPal – think of a bank alternative), Patreon, removed the account of anti-PC blogger/YouTuber “Sargon of Akkad,” Carl Benjamin, even though the behavior they claim as justificationwas not on their site, and he definitely did not violate Patreon’s Community Guidelines. He was responding in a sarcastic manner to attacks by white supremacists!
In December, 2018, Patreon suspended the owner of “Jihad Watch,” Robert Spencer, without reason or notice. When Spencer asked why, he was told that, “unfortunately,” the credit card company, MasterCard had forced the ban.
At what point does the use of currency to arbitrarily impose decisions on what is right or wrong become a Federal issue? If two or more supposedly unrelated companies or organizations interfere to limit commerce, is it delusional to see a conspiracy?

Even if you don’t read Revelation as the prediction of the ultimate dystopia, you might agree that there’s a move to force political – ethical – correctness on the public by monitoring and restricting how you spend and receive money. You might even see the possibility that in order to spend and earn money, we could soon need the approval – the “Mark” if not of *the* “Beast, “of some lesser beast, composed of powerful organizations.

“Reliable Allies Refuse to Defend a President Content With Chaos.” (NYT)

Mr. Trump grew angry over his news coverage.

Well, who wouldn’t when confronted with this New York Times headline: “Reliable Allies Refuse to Defend a President Content With Chaos.”

The opening paragraph might add to that anger:

President Trump, who has long believed that he is his own best adviser and spokesman, was forced to test that idea on Friday when few of his allies seemed willing to publicly share in his evident satisfaction with the tumultuous events that have buffeted the White House in the past few days.

This is the online version,of the which has a footnote that explains that the print version carried a more neutral title:

A version of this article appears in print on Page A18 with the headline: Confusion and Controversy Swirl, But the President Remains Positive.

The internet address for the article hints at the original purpose behind the column in the US Politics section of what was once the “newspaper of record:” “donald-trump-syria-government-shutdown.”

Other than a few comments that this is the 3rd shutdown in recent years, news coverage ignores the fact that Schumer and the Senate Democrats “shutdown” the government in January, 2018 when they staged a filibuster over another funding Bill because it didn’t protect DACA.

The President is said to have an “aggressively partisan stance,” but New York’s Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer is the one who ranted on the Senate floor:

“You’re not getting the wall today, next week or on Jan. 3 when Democrats take control of the House.”

You don’t have to wonder how Not-the-Majority-Leader Chuck really feels. And it’s clear that he has “reliable allies” at the NYT.

Border Wall : now or never

For two years, the problem with funding the border wall has been exactly the same that the country faces now: the Senate Dems refuse to budge. It’s down to the last minute, now or never for the wall, and up to the Dems to choose.

The solution is simple: instead of dedicating $10+B in aid to Mexico and Central America, allocate the money necessary to build the wall and secure the border.

What a shame that the division has become so partisan and the talking points so bitterly derisive.

As to the “immorality” that Schumer decries: just as with your home, there is a moral difference between a wall intended to control who comes into the Country and one intended to lock the inhabitants in.

The solution is simple: instead of dedicating $10+B in aid to Mexico and Central America, allocate the money necessary to build the wall and secure the border.

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