The Texas Catholic Conference, joined by the Texas Alliance for Life and organizations that represent medical providers and people with disabilities, jointly filed an amicus brief in defense of the Texas law. They argued that the law provides a resolution for “intractable” cases where relatives demand medical treatment even after a doctor, compelled by their ethical obligation to do no harm, concludes further intervention would only extend or enhance suffering.
“Though we’d like to see some added protections for patients, at its core, it’s a good law because it balances the rights of patients to their autonomy about medical decisions and the conscience rights of physicians and medical providers to not have to provide something that is harmful or immoral,” said Joe Pojman, the executive director of Texas Alliance for Life.
Pojman told the Register that a Texas physician’s decision not to continue care is reviewed by an ethics committee, which gives the family at least 10 days to find a different provider that is willing to provide the disputed treatment. During that time, the treatment must be provided. In Dunn’s case, the hospital contacted than 60 other providers, but none were willing to provide the treatment, Pojman said.