The Corner

Hospital Death Panel in Texas

Extending the life of a patient when that is what he wants is a quintessential purpose of medicine. But thanks to the bioethics movement, that fundamental principle is now under tremendous threat.

Texas has an odious law that permits a bioethics committee to veto patient advance directives and stated desires to live by refusing service. This is a hospital death panel.

Strangers to the patient are allowed to vote after a secret deliberation and refuse wanted life-extending medical treatment. At that point, the patient has 10 days to get out or accept death and stop the care, except for comfort measures.

This is known as medical futility,or as I call it, futile care theory.

Now, Houston Methodist Hospital is trying to force cancer patient David Christopher Dunn off life support that he clearly wants. 

Often,we are told that the law only applies to those who are so out of it they can’t react to their environment. But, from the video embedded above, produced by Texas Right to Life, it is clear that the latest victim of Texas’s law is responsive and capable of communicating his desires to continue care.

Realize that Dunn’s treatment isn’t to be stopped because it doesn’t work, but because it does. The doctors and bioethics committee think his quality of life not worth living, but Chris Dunn does!

In essence, the patient is being declared futile. This is the future we all face under Obamacare, once its centralized control mandates are fully up and running.

Dunn filed a lawsuit against the hospital’s plan to refuse him the care required to live, including a constitutional challenge based on denial of due process. His success in thwarting the law will not only honor his equal value, but make us, and those we love, safer.


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