If the patient or the person responsible for the health care decisions of the patient is requesting life-sustaining treatment that the attending physician has decided and the review process has affirmed is inappropriate treatment, the patient shall be given available life-sustaining treatment pending transfer under Subsection (d). The patient is responsible for any costs incurred in transferring the patient to another facility. The physician and the health care facility are not obligated to provide life-sustaining treatment after the 10th day after the written decision required under Subsection (b) is provided to the patient or the person responsible for the health care decisions of the patient … Tx Health & Safety Code s.166.046(e).It's known as the "futile care" law, and it permits hospitals to override the wishes of the parents, guardians, etc. regarding life-sustaining measures. There is a distinct possibility that Bush's futile care law killed a little boy who was born with a usually fatal type of dwarfism, but who was alert, conscious, and had survived for six months.
"Then at 2 p.m. today, a medical staffer at Texas Children's Hospital gently removed the breathing tube that had kept Sun Hudson alive since his Sept. 25 birth. Cradled by his mother, he took a few breaths, and died. "I talked to him, I told him that I loved him. Inside of me, my son is still alive," Wanda Hudson told reporters afterward. "This hospital was considered a miracle hospital. When it came to my son, they gave up in six months .... They made a terrible mistake." Sun's death marks the first time a hospital has been allowed by a U.S. judge to discontinue an infant's life-sustaining care against a parent's wishes, according to bioethical experts. A similar case involving a 68-year-old man in a chronic vegetative state at another Houston hospital is before a court now. "This isn't murder. It's mercy and it's appropriate to be merciful in that way. It's not killing, it's stopping pointless treatment," said William Winslade, a bioethicist and lawyer who is a professor at the Institute for the Medical Humanities at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. "It's sad this (Sun Hudson case) dragged on for so long. It's always sad when an infant dies. We all feel it's unfair, that a child doesn't have a chance to develop and thrive." The hospital's description of Sun — that he was motionless and sedated for comfort — has differed sharply from the mother's. Since February, the hospital has blocked the media from accepting Hudson's invitation to see the baby in the neonatal intensive care unit, citing patient privacy concerns. "I wanted y'all to see my son for yourself," Hudson told reporters. "So you could see he was actually moving around. He was conscious." Texas law allows hospitals can discontinue life sustaining care, even if patient family members disagree. A doctor's recommendation must be approved by a hospital's ethics committee, and the family must be given 10 days from written notice of the decision to try and locate another facility for the patient. Texas Children's said it contacted 40 facilities with newborn intensive care units, but none would accept Sun. Without legal delays, Sun's care would have ended Nov. 28. Sun was born with a fatal form of dwarfism characterized by short arms, short legs and lungs too tiny to sustain his body, doctors said. Nearly all babies born with the incurable condition, often diagnosed in utero, die shortly after birth, genetic counselors say. Sun was delivered full-term at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, but Hudson, 33, said she had no prenatal care during which his condition might have been discovered. He was put on a ventilator while doctors figured out what was wrong with him, and Hudson refused when doctors recommending withdrawing treatment. "From the time Sun was born ... he was on life support because his chest cavity and lungs could not grow and develop the capacity to support his body. He was slowly suffocating to death," Texas Children's said in a statement today. Texas Children's contended that continuing care for Sun was medically inappropriate, prolonged suffering and violated physician ethics. Hudson argued her son just needed more time to grow and be weaned from the ventilator.I wonder if the lack of prenatal care was due to laziness or a lack of medical insurance? Why do I bring all this up? Because it's hypocritical for Bush (especially) to sign the Schiavo continuation-of-suffering-against-her-wishes bill, when he's also signed a law that killed a little boy against his parents' wishes. It should be the family - not the government (state or federal; courts or legislatures) that make these types of personal, private, emotional decisions.