First Circuit Court of Appeals to rule on Houston case

The family of a Houston man, who was terminally ill and died after two months in the hospital, is suing the strike down that a law protecting doctors is unconstitutional.

The First Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments yesterday and is expected to rule in several months.

Texas Alliance for Life Executive Director Joe Pojman said while loved ones might want to interventions to be done to save the patient's life, the opposite could happen.

"The purpose of this is so that no physician is forced by law to provide interventions that will harm or possibly hasten the death of a patient," said Pojman.

He said the goal of the law is to get patients, families and doctors talking about end of life decisions.

Pojman said the law is very rarely used, but is to protect the conscious of medical providers.

"The district court in Houston dismissed the case because the mother really didn't have a case that could be brought," said Pojman.

He said multiple pro-life groups, religious organizations and disability rights groups support the law.

Some medical ethicists around the country, as well as Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton who believes the 10-Day Rule is unconstitutional.

Two bills in the Texas Legislature would repeal the 10-day provision of the Texas Advance Directives Act and to enact the law in 11 other states that requires hospitals to continue life-sustaining care until a patient is transferred to a more appropriate care setting.

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