Hospital in Texas Killing Patient Despite Family’s Pleas

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 21, 2012   |   10:20PM   |   Washington, DC

A hospital is now actively killing a patient whose family has contacted pro-life groups in a struggle to potect his right to life.

The family has contacted Texas Right to Life and Elizabeth Graham, the director of the pro-life organization says the family has been seeking the organization’s help pleading to save their father Willie’s life.

“Despite the family’s desperation to protect their father’s life, and everything Texas Right to Life did for them, the hospital’s  death panel declared his life futile and moved with steps to kill him,” Graham said in an email LifeNews obtained.

A few weeks ago, Willie was making plans to travel with his family for a vacation in Europe, but he had chest pains and went to the hospital to check what’s wrong. To his surprise, they discovered pneumonia and leukemia.

Willie’s doctors suggested surgery and chemotherapy and Willie indicated he didn’t want to die. Before sedation, his daughter told Gran he looked lovingly into her eyes and said, “Fight for me, baby; I ain’t done living.”

Armed with a medical power of attorney, his family obeyed his wishes and told the physicians to continued his medical care and treatment — but they disagreed and formed a committee under Texas law, which Graham describes as the same sort of “death panels” criticized under Obamacare, to determine whether Willie should continue receiving treatment at the hospital.

As Graham explained, “This death panel of hospital staff and a few doctors met at the hospital in northwest Houston and decided that Willie’s life was no longer worth living and told the family their decision. The panelists told Willie’s family that if they didn’t agree with their decision, then to move him out of their hospital within ten days or they would pull the plug.”

Graham says the family “reached out to a social worker in the hospital to facilitate transfer to another facility – a facility that would care for Willie.  Willie’s family would pay the transfer costs and other expenses for the health care the doctors were denying to him, on top of the ample insurance he had to cover his costs.”

The social worked informed the family she would attempt to find a new location that would agree to provide treatment and the family hoped for an improvement in Willie’s medical condition. Yet, as the 10-day deadline for the medical transfer approached, she told them no medical center would accept their father and she was out of options.

“When they heard her words, the family was silent. They couldn’t even form words to express their unbelief and grief. Willie had insurance, after all, why would no one want to accept him? Graham said. Willie’s family told me how they quickly realized the social worker had painted a picture of their father that no hospital wants: one who had no hope of meaningful recovery, one whose quality of life was gone, one with no dignity due to his illness and disability.”

The family called Texas Right to Life and Graham and her staff spoke with various attorneys and elected officials in an attempt to help Willie but they all told TRTL they could do little for him or his family given the current status of Texas law.

“Texas failed Willie. Our culture failed Willie,” Graham said. “With his family crying beside him at 5pm yesterday, the hospital stopped trying to heal Willie and then turned to try to kill him.”
The family was helpless as they watched one by one, each treatment be stopped or withdrawn and, although Willie breathed on his own through the night, Graham says he is facing starvation and dehydration against the family’s desire to protect his right to live. Without food or water, Willie’s heart rate is dangerously low and the hospital has already urged the family to contact hospice care — providing Willie no medical treatment in the meantime.

“Yesterday we fought in a hospital, the very place we used to trust to save lives,” Graham said, saying the hospital setting is now becoming the new battleground for pro-life advocates.