Thursday, May 2, 2019



Friends, not only have the usual suspects signed onto a coalition letter opposing the life-affirming SB 2089, they are really showing their true colors, their incessant, unyielding promotion of euthanasia, and continued support for the deprivation of due process rights for patients. I have a lot to show you and time is short. Read on.

I was provided with this call to action from the Texas Medical Association. Pro-life doctors are concerned. 


Dear Dr.
Deciding how to spend the final days and hours of life is a highly personal decision, and it’s one we encourage our patients to make long before the need arises. 
Yet a bill just voted out of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee would subvert the Texas Advance Directive Act (TADA), signed into law in 1999 by then-Gov. George W. Bush: Senate Bill 2089 by Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola). Simply put, SB 2089 would violate our personal liberties of conscience and force extra suffering on our patients. 
SB 2089 would require hospitals, physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals to provide medically inappropriate and potentially harmful care for an unlimited period of time. Requiring care in perpetuity would prolong the dying process, exacerbate suffering for both patients and loved ones, and violate the standard of care to do no harm. 
Yesterday, the Senate State Affairs Committee voted to approve SB 2089. It now rests with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who will decide if and when to set the bill for debate on the Senate floor. That cannot happen. SB 2089 must be stopped now. 
Please contact Lieutenant Governor Patrick today and urge him NOT to set SB 2089 for a floor debate. 
It's imperative that you help us educate the lieutenant governor that this bill interferes with professional medical judgment. 
You can use the new TMA Grassroots Action Left to quickly and easily share your message with Lieutenant Governor Patrick via email or Twitter. Or you can call his office directly at (512) 463-0001. Either way, you’ll find talking points to use in the Grassroots Action Left. 
Please call or write today. We must prevent SB 2089 from being heard on the Senate floor.

Douglas W. Curran, MD
Texas Medical Association

The TMA lies. That's right. I'm not mincing words. Listen to me: THEY LIE.

This bill would require treatment until transfer. Transfer being the goal when a doctor decides a patient is better off having his death hastened by withdrawal of life-sustaining (not unlimited interventions of any type, by the way - that is a red herring they use constantly - NO ONE ARGUES FOR THAT - they argue against something no one else supports).

As I have said to Dr. Joe Pojman, Dr. Beverly Nuckols, in my testimony, and on this blog and my other posts for years - as have many others - not all doctors have the same conscience formation. For instance, some think abortion is fine and have a conscience untroubled by it being legal or even performing it. Some think euthanasia is fine - clearly we see that here - including involuntary euthanasia by refusing and withdrawing life-sustaining care to patients against their will and think only they should make that life and death determination for a patient. We often seek second opinions. Why? Because not all doctors have the same opinions about care, morality, ethics, and who makes the final decision about whether you die early or not.

Opponents to this bill think only doctors and the ethics committee members (which, by the way, often are without an ethicist even if such were always reliably ethical). They don't believe you have that right or the capability to make that decision. Don't believe me? See the tweets and calls to action below and note the tone and dishonestly of the TMA missive. Go to the thread on Twitter for #SB2089 and read. You will be illuminated and probably a bit horrified by what certain alleged pro-life groups, religious groups, and doctors believe about you and your right to life! 

Understand that while the TMA may be the lobbying arm of the largest medical association in the state, not all doctors subscribe to their pro-abortion, pro-euthanasia, anti-patient, and anti-due process ways. For instance, see this by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons:

I am so grateful that other doctors and their organizations are promoting life and a balanced, due process for these tough decisions. (Doctors can't easily control who represents them in the lobbying arm of their organization (lawyers have the same problem, this is why I'm not a member of the American Bar Association any longer) and I don't believe for a moment that even most doctors would support this. But their lobbying arm is out of control and bloodthirsty. They must be stopped. The grassroots is larger and always show up in greater numbers than they do when these bills are heard in committees, as I mentioned in a prior post.)

Texas Right to Life's Emily Cook responded correctly:

You need to know how extreme these views by those opposing SB 2089 are. For instance, this doctor tweeted that only doctors can made these decisions.

Understand, she was saying this to an ETHICIST, Wesley J. Smith, who is pro-life and an attorney who understands due process and the requirements of it that are utterly lacking in the current law. He handily addressed her and the Executive Director of TAL who had the audacity to question whether Smith had training in ethics and medicine (this, the man who sat next to Chris Dunn's mother and lied about Chris' case and condition under oath during the hearing on SB 2089).

This is the same stuff as what the Texas Medical Association and former Sen. Bob Deuell tweeted on this very date in 2013 - things never really change for these people:

(Deuell lost his re-election bid to pro-life Bob Hall by a mere 300 votes. I do not think that is a coincidence, the losing or by what amount.)

Then you have Texas Alliance for Life (Dr. Nuckols is a former board member of TAL and wrote an opinion piece in Public Discourse in the wake of the Chris Dunn case along with a current member of TAL which outright wrote in favor of euthanasia, as I covered here, see section II.B.). 

TAL also has tweeted its support of involuntary passive euthanasia and against patient rights and due process - repeatedly:

And, not to be left out, so has the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops (note the similar graphic used by both TAL and the TCCB; I have in the past surmised that TAL calls the shots for the TCCB and I think that's a pretty safe assumption; their publications are usually very, very similar if not identical):

I was asked by a concerned and authentically pro-life Catholic how to refuse this. This is what I posted on Facebook. It is succinct and it is accurate.

You can also look back at the entirety of this blog and see how these orgs and people use extreme cases as if that is the only time this statute is ever used. That is a lie. Elizabeth Graham testified that they were promised that these were the only cases this statute would ever be used for in 1999. That is not the case and that is well-established. They are the exception not the rule for the invocation of this statute. I've never worked on such a case. Rather, every case I worked on - and most every one that Texas Right to life has - involves a determination by doctor and committee that a person's life is simply without "quality" as far as these eugenicist persons are concerned. Thus, they are better off dead. This is the case even when more time may result in a recovery which has been the outcome of some of these patients saved from TADA.

These fraudulent, pro-euthansia orgs and persons need to be exposed for the dangers they are to each of us. You are one accident or illness away from being in the cross-hairs of this law - or a loved one. Don't you think that your opinion matters in such a grave decision? If a doctor doesn't want to treat you, wouldn't you rather have sufficient time to be moved to another place or have your care left in place until you expire naturally? Or recover?

Why is death the only result they accept? It matters not except to know that that is the truth. Go read the tweets. I can do no better job explaining it to you than they can in their own words.

Now, what do you do? The full Senate may take up both SB 2089 and SB 1033 (the Preborn Non-Discrimination Act) as early as Monday. Please contact your Senator to ask them to support these life-affirming, life-saving bills.

For SB 2089, you can use this handy form. Then I recommend calling as well.

Time is of the essence. The life you save may literally be your own! There are merely 25 days left in this session. We are about to lose a rare opportunity to do something really big and important here and the pro-death crowd knows it. They are in full force making sure you remain without rights in these life and death situations. Don't let them win!

Remember, we err, if we are to err at all, on the side of life. Always. 

Get on your computer, work the phones. Get to it!

Thanks for reading!

UPDATES: Not to be left out, Texans for Life Coalition offered this tweet just to make sure the whole gang is represented in their continuing support of euthanasia in Texas:

I have written about the issues with this particular organization before, principally their support for research on aborted babies so long as the mother gives consent. Recall that the TCCB says that this organization and TAL speak for it.

Then, I thought it was worth noting this tweet by TAL to Wesley Smith who must have really stuck a nerve - and that's always telling - which literally makes no sense given their opposition to this bill.

As I have written elsewhere this is a lie. The law does NOT require that an alternative provider be located and the patient transferred. If that were the case, logically, we'd not need this reform, would we? Further, if that is how they see this law now, this law that they support, why do they oppose this bill that would do what they claim is already in the law? They cannot keep their misrepresentations straight and this should be a significant red flag to you. 

The truth is that there is no standard for what sort of attempts have to be made and our experience is that some hospitals interpret this as the family's responsibility and not theirs. Not only that, the patient can still be killed at the end of the 10 days against his will by having his life-sustaining care removed against his will under current law. Further, 10 days is not enough time to find a facility in most cases. 

And, to be clear about this 60 attempts they keep citing, that claim was made by the Methodist Hospital employed social worker, Justine Moore, in the Dunn case. Importantly, there was no substantiating evidence for these alleged attempts. And, her affidavit was hearsay as to over 30 of them as she stated what she claims others did. Those others did not file affidavits of their own. 

In that sworn affidavit she also claimed she did not request guardianship of Dunn. As you can see here, she did, in fact, request guardianship of Dunn in the probate court on behalf of Methodist, although she claimed she did not in her sworn affidavit in the trial court. If you go to the entire pleading which is embedded in my post and look at page 6, there is a highlighted sentence that requests the following relief: "that upon hearing, Applicant be appointed Permanent Guardian of the Person of Proposed Ward." If you go to the first page, you see that it begins, "JUSTINE MOORE ("Applicant")...." and that "David Christopher Dunn (the "Proposed Ward")..." Actually, I'll save you the trouble of scrolling:

For a variety of reasons, had this person been put on the witness stand and cross-examined under oath, I suspect her credibility might have been found wanting. 

Also, please remember that Dunn died on December 23, 2015. They sought to withdraw his care in October of that month and Moore sought guardianship over him on December 3, 2015. His care was not withdrawn, and as Methodist and even the courts agree, he died naturally of the underlying issues he faced. All patients should have that right. There was no allegation he was suffering. Recall, he begged for his life on video well after the hospital had made the decision to withdraw his care. 

Only because Dunn sought court intervention by Temporary Restraining Order, did Methodist agree to continue care even as it attempted to obtain guardianship over him.

But the law does not require that life-sustaining care be continued until transfer or if a doctor or hospital think it should not and disagree with the patient. The law should do that but it does not. TAL, the TCCB, etc., all oppose this reform. 

Also, recall that no doctor claimed their conscience was bothered by maintaining his life-sustaining care. 

The extreme cases they mention as if those are the only ones that ever occur in this context are not the usual case as I discussed above. Rarer still is the doctor who claims conscience motivates him rather than a verdict he and the committee render on their view of this patient's quality of life. That is wrong. That is not for them to decide. But should conscience be an issue, another doctor can take over, as we have discussed. 

I have contacted by state Senator Nathan Johnson. Have you contacted yours and asked them to support this bill? Please do so immediately! 

So there you have it.

Thanks for reading this update!

UPDATE 2: Not to be left out either, the Texas Hospital Association has taken to tweeting lies as well.

I'm guessing I don't have to break it down further at this point. Regarding the continuing false allegation that all this care is painful and doctors will be forced to provide it, we've covered that above and in prior posts. Simply not true. Also simply not their call to make. Life-sustaining care should be transferred not withdrawn against a patient's wishes. 

Please email & call your senators and ask them to support SB 2089.

Thanks for reading this latest update!