Stafford, VA – Monday, May 13, the Texas House will hear HB1444, “An Act relating to advance directives and health care and treatment.” It has already passed the state senate (SB303). Judie Brown, president of American Life League and three time appointee to the Pontifical Academy for Life, sent this urgent letter to all Catholic bishops in Texas:
RE: SB3031HB 1444
It has come to our attention that the Texas legislature is considering a law that would actually expand the legal loopholes that enable doctors and other medical professionals to quietly facilitate the early death of patients under the guise of doing what is best for a patient entrusted to their care.
The proposal puts an undue burden on family members whose loved one is already in a precarious state. The proposal is, in simple terms, a back door entrance to euthanizing a patient deemed to be in a situation where he will die anyway. This is not good medicine.
The Texas Catholic Conference (TCC) website advises that your Conference supports this proposal because the bill is alleged to balance the protection of the life of a patient with the conscience of the provider. This sounds very good but is not in fact what the bill will do if passed.
Improving end of life care should never equate with denying patients their rights as human beings deserving of respect for their dignity. The ethics committees referenced in this proposal are simply a smokescreen of protection for those who decide that some patients should live while others should die.
It is inconceivable to us that you would support this bill. Perhaps prior to your endorsement your lobbyists had not adequately analyzed the language contained in the proposal. Of that we cannot be certain.
We would ask you to review the enclosed testimony by patients' rights advocate Julie Grimstad and take another look at the troublesome bill. We pray that you will see the problems and work against its passage.
Time is of the essence. God be with you and thank you for considering my plea.
Sincerely yours in the Lord who IS Life,
Judie Brown, President
Encl: THE PATIENT'S PLIGHT: TEXAS "MEDICAL FUTILITY" LAW AND SB 3031HB 1444; testimony by Julie Grimstad
Julie Grimstad, an expert on end of life issues and euthanasia, is executive director of Life is Worth Living.
Media inquiries, please contact Paul Rondeau at 540-659-4171 or PRondeau@ALL.org.
American Life League, cofounded by Judie Brown in 1979, is the oldest national Catholic pro-life education and advocacy organization in the United States. For more information, please visit http://www.ALL.org.