Some medical decisions to stop treatment are actually decisions to commit euthanasia by omission. These decisions are often disguised by calling them “medical futility” or “futile care” decisions. For example, the Texas statute known as “the 10-day law” (Section 166.046 of the Texas Health and Safety Code) is an anti-life “medical futility” law. This law permits a hospital committee to decide to withdraw treatment, for any reason, including the subjective assessment of a patient’s quality of life. The hospital can remove treatment, even life-sustaining treatment (ventilator, dialysis, oxygen, antibiotics, etc.) against a patient’s/family’s wishes and they are not allowed to appeal the decision.
For more information about this unconscionable law, please see Texas Right to Life’s recent virtual conference where Emily Cook, General Counsel for Texas Right to Life, discusses the ramifications of this law and describes specific cases in which she and others have intervened to save lives.
For additional information on medical futility policies, read HALO’s “Medical Futility—What Does It Mean?” fact sheet.