July 9, 2006

BURYING MISTAKES (via Kevin Whited):

Texas' patient care law at hub of Houston dispute: Life-support case 'raises questions of whether the law might be used to bury mistakes' (TODD ACKERMAN, July 8, 2006, Houston Chronicle)

Texas' controversial futile care law is at the center of a drama at Memorial Hermann Hospital involving a patient who suffered brain damage after her breathing tube became disconnected.

Doctors invoked the law, which allows hospitals to remove life support in cases deemed medically futile, two weeks later, after deciding 29-year-old Kalilah Roberson-Reese was in a vegetative state.

"This case raises questions of whether the law might be used to bury mistakes," said Jerri Ward, an Austin attorney who this week asked a judge to stop Memorial Hermann from withdrawing life support from Roberson-Reese. "At the very least, there is an appearance of a conflict of interest that should preclude a futility review committee from making a life-or-death decision before an independent investigation is made."

Forget the times when they're trying to literally ditch the evidence, the hospital also has a financial stake in killing the ones who can't pay their bills.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 9, 2006 9:04 PM
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