— Posted by John (May 8, 2006 at 11:06 am)
Via Pro-Life Blogs:
Andrea passed away peacefully a little before 3pm today, with her family and her friends at her bedside. We love her so very much and we are going to miss her terribly. We hope that the battle that we fought for our sister will bring to light and bear witness to the horrible acts committed in the name of ethics in hospitals across the state of Texas.
The fact that we had to fight this battle is both frightening and a sad commentary on the so-called “ethics” now being practiced in medical facilities in this state. The battle for life is a difficult one, in the best of situations, but when a family is put through what we had to go through at such a time, it is especially agonizing.
We wish so much that we could have spent more time at our sister’s side, when she was living and fighting for her life, rather than having to visit our attorney’s office, give interviews to radio and television stations to let the public know of the atrocity about to befall Andrea, and literally stand outside the hospital and beg them not to kill our sister. In attempting to deprive Andrea of the most basic of her human rights–life–St. Luke’s Hospital managed to deprive her family and her of that which is most dear to us all, when we are faced with the death of a loved one: a proper goodbye.
How, in the name of God, anyone can call putting someone to death when they are at their most helpless and begging for their lives “ethical,” we cannot imagine.
Our prayers go out for Andrea and her family during this time. Please include them in your prayers, too.
As I wrote in a previous post, the Texas Futile Care Law (also called the Texas Advance Directives Act) has got to go. Yenlang Vo, for one, is still struggling for her life, and the TFCL is only making matters worse.
Not Dead Yet, the nation’s leading disability rights advocacy organization, recently weighed in on the controversy over so-called “futile care”:
Essentially, futile care policies provide that a physician may overrule a patient or their authorized decision-maker in denying wanted life-sustaining treatment. Futile care policies do not generally require that the treatment be objectively futile, but allow doctors to use subjective criteria such as quality of life judgments and even economic factors as grounds for denying treatment.
It’s also a concern to disability advocates who, until recently, were excluded from the relatively small group of players that has played a major role in pushing for the “futility” statute and other changes in Texas health care policies. “We think that all health care consumers should be questioning whether it’s advisable, or even constitutional, for doctors to have this kind of power,” said Diane Coleman, president of Not Dead Yet.
I couldn’t agree more. NDY continues:
Coincidentally, Bob Kafka, Texas NDY Organizer, withdrew from the Advance Directives Coalition just days before the news hit the web about Andrea Clark. He withdrew over efforts to “improve” the “futility” statute.
“I have come to the conclusion that the essence of any futility law embraces involuntary euthanasia,” says Kafka. “The ability of a doctor to overrule both the patient and their surrogate in withdrawing life-sustaining treatment is in violation of the principle of patient autonomy. There’s no way to ‘fix’ this law. It just needs to be killed – or euthanized, for those who prefer softer language. I am increasingly suspicious of the willingness of the medical community to honor ‘autonomy’ of old, ill and disabled people ONLY in those cases where they want to die [emphasis added].”
Kafka is right. If there was ever a time to be suspicious, this is it.