The case has divided the pro-life community in Texas.
Dr. Joe Pojman, Texas Alliance for Life’s executive director, said ahead of the hearing that “We believe the dispute resolution process in Texas law is both good public policy and is constitutional.”
He added that “the Texas law is among the best in the nation. It balances patients’ rights to make end of life decisions with the rights of physicians to not indefinitely order painful, medically inappropriate interventions to terminally ill patients that only prolong their deaths with no proportional benefit.”
Texas Alliance for Life, along with the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops and several other pro-life groups, disability advocates, and medical groups, filed an amici curiae brief Jan. 29 supporting TADA.
The brief said TADA has given physicians and families “a structure for having difficult end-of-life conversations—and for reaching a resolution if the families and treating physician do not ultimately agree.”
“A medical intervention that could further prolong life can also, directly or indirectly, inflict significant suffering without proportionate benefit to the patient. A physician might conclude that making further interventions on a patient near the end of life, in a medical situation with no meaningful prospect for cure or recovery, would inflict only harm on the patient—violating one of the oldest and most deeply held principles of medical ethics. Medical providers in that position face not only an ethical dilemma but also feel moral distress over being the instrument used to inflict that non-beneficial suffering on a patient.”
The amici curiae brief called TADA a “carefully balanced statute” that should be upheld by the appellate court.
It added that striking down TADA would constitute judicial activism, stating that “disagreements about a policy decision made by the Legislature, however deeply felt, do not state a constitutional claim.”