Critics Try to Undo Futile Care Law

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas -- Those who want to extend the time some hospital patients may live before their life support is cut off are worried their proposal is running into a wall.

And they're concerned time is running out at the Capitol.

Legislation by Rep. Bryan Hughes and pushed by Texas Right to Life requires life-sustaining treatment to continue for patients deemed futile by doctors until a transfer to another medical facility can be arranged.

That's if their family requests it.

Currently, hospitals can stop life support treatment after 10 days in certain cases if the patient is terminally or irreversibly ill and cannot express his or her wishes about treatment.

The Texas Medical Association, Texas Hospital Association and a number of individual hospitals oppose Hughes' bill.

Disabled activist groups, like the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities and Not Dead Yet of Texas, back Hughes' proposal, as does the American Civil Liberties Union.

The Legislature adjourns June 1. Several key House deadlines arrive this week.

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