Patient Denied Medical Treatment Dies After Rationing

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 22, 2012   |   10:25AM   |   Washington, DC

A patient who was denied medial treatment, and whose family’s attempts to transfer him to another medical facility were unsuccessful, has passed away.

As LifeNews reported Wednesday, 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 Graham 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 continue his medical care and treatment — but they disagreed and formed a committee under Texas law, which Elizabeth Graham, director of Texas Right to Life, describes as the same sort of “death panels” criticized under Obamacare, to determine whether Willie should continue receiving treatment at the hospital.

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 worker 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.

Now, Graham tells LifeNews in an email that Willie passed away.

“Late yesterday evening after I sent my email to you, I learned that Willie died. The “ethics panel” at the facility decided, against the wishes of the family — and the patient himself — to stop medical treatment. As you can imagine, I’m shocked, and his family is devastated about the way their father was treated, and ultimately killed, by so-called medical professionals.”

Graham says the family has requested that the medical facility in question that denied treatment not be named, but she said pro-life advocates have a new battle on their hands and “a long road ahead of us to change how we care for the suffering and disabled.”

“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 faced starvation and dehydration against the family’s desire to protect his right to live. Without food or water, Willie’s heart rate was dangerously low and the hospital  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.