Texas Hospital Association

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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.

Action Alert! Correct False Testimony by the Texas Hospital Association Representative

This is a rare Action Alert: Contact the Texas Hospital Association (phone number, 512-465-1000) about the completely false testimony of their representative, Ms. Stacy Wilson who testified against Section 2 of House Bill 2 before the House State Affairs Committee on Tuesday, July 2, 2013.

You can see Ms. Wilson’s testimony on the July 2, 2013 video of the House State Affairs Committee, available at the House video site beginning at 2:02/8:38.

Ms. Wilson testified as the Associate Counsel for the Texas Hospital Association, against Section 2 of HB 2. That section requires the physicians who perform elective abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the place where he or she does the abortions. Section 4 of the Bill, against which Ms. Wilson did not testify, requires abortion facilities to meet the same standards as State-regulated Ambulatory Surgical Centers.
Ms. Wilson falsely argued that hospitals would not grant admitting privileges to doctors who perform elective abortions outside the hospital because the hospital wouldn’t allow elective hospitals within the hospital: “If you have a physician that is only practicing in a clinic . . . the hospital is unlikely to give privileges.”

Ms. Wilson is apparently unaware that the reason a doctor would have admitting privileges would be to treat complications of the abortion, including hemorrhage, uterine and bowel perforations, and infections after the abortion. There is no reason to claim that the purpose of those privileges would be to allow performing the abortion itself within the hospital walls.

Ms. Wilson repeatedly said that she doesn’t know whether any Texas doctors who perform elective abortions have admitting privileges in Texas hospitals: “It is possible, I mean, say, it’s unlikely, but it’s possible,” and, ““I don’t know of any.”

She also repeatedly stated that it would be wrong for the hospital to be required to grant privileges, while the Bill carries no such requirement: “My testimony is that requiring a hospital to grant privileges for procedures that occur outside the hospital, is an inappropriate.”

Sylvester Turner pounced on Ms. Wilson’s testimony, claiming that Section 2 would outlaw abortion in the State of Texas, since no doctor would be able to get hospital privileges: “We can’t get past this . . . This witness’ testimony is very critical.”

Ms. Wilson doesn’t see any benefit in the usual standard of continuity of medical care: “It seems to me that if a woman has complications, she’s going to come to the Emergency Department, whether her doctor has admitting privileges is irrelevant.” And, “I said that what the woman should do is come to the emergency room where the emergency personnel would render aid.”

Please call the Texas Hospital Association and demand that they correct the misrepresentations of Ms. Wilson.



Update: When you call, you can just ask to leave a message for the Legislative Affairs staff or ask to speak to that office.

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