My Legislative Highlights

My goal for this session was to pass strong, conservative legislation that ensures that the Texas Miracle lives on. Below are a couple of bills that I either authored or sponsored that are now on Gov. Abbott’s desk waiting to be signed into law.

HB 3162 restores life-affirming values in healthcare by amending the Texas Advance Directives Act to revise provisions related to life-sustaining treatment and DNR orders for patients who are incompetent or mentally/physically incapable of communication. Current law allows a Hospital committee to withdraw a patient’s basic life-sustaining treatment with a 10-day notice. This bill will extend the period to twenty-five days and provides for a seven-day notice, giving patients and their families time to transfer to a different physician or facility that will respect their decision. It was an honor to work on this legislation with Representative Klick, Texas Right to Life, Texas Alliance for Life, and Texans for Life Coalition.

By: Cameron Abrams

Prior to Klick’s proposal, there were many attempts at reform. Most recently, Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) and former representative Sen. Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound) filed the “Respecting Texas Patients’ Right to Life Act of 2021,” which failed to make it out of the Senate.

Texas Alliance for Life originally opposed this legislation siding with the ability of medical facilities and doctors granted with the ability to end treatment of a patient who is on life-sustaining care.


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 more moderate anti-abortion group, took 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 Cook 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 more 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.”

By: Leah Hickman

Tinslee’s mother, Trinity Lewis, has won temporary court orders to prolong her daughter’s life. She insists the girl is not suffering, but physicians say she is. Texas Alliance for Life and several other pro-life groups have come out in support of the law that would allow the hospital to end Tinslee’s medical treatment. They filed an amicus brief defending the law as a good compromise between the rights of the family to make end-of-life decisions and the hospital’s right to end treatment when doctors see it as extending suffering rather than offering a remedy. Vital

By: JD Flynn

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.”