But Texas anti-abortion groups are not in lockstep regarding Tinslee’s case. Many groups outside of Right to Life are siding with the medical community on the law.
Joe Pojman, director of Texas Alliance for Life, a moderate anti-abortion group, to issue with the injection of politics into Tinslee’s case. Pojman’s group, along with other anti-abortion groups in the state, filed a brief in support of Co Children’s Medical Center.
“We don’t think that’s a pro-life position — to advocate for prolonging a patient’s death through means that cause pain and suffering,” Pojman said. “If this law needs to be tweaked, that ought to be done by the Legislature.”
According to state law, when a family’s wishes and medical judgement clash, the hospital’s ethics committee reviews the doctor’s decision. If the committee sides with the doctor, the doctor has protection from liability; if it sides with the family, the physician can act as he or she chooses but will not be protected if the family decides to sue.
“No other state has that,” Pojman said, calling the process “absolutely unique.”
Pojman said if the law is struck down, doctors stand to lose their legal protection — a loss he said he fears would make hospitals much unwilling to accept and treat terminally ill patients in the first place
“They are going to harm the patients they claim to want to protect,” Pojman said. “I think there are people who are trying to make political hay out of an issue that is not appropriate for politics.”