Judge Stops Man’s Estranged Wife From Starving Him to Death

State   |   Alliance Defending Freedom   |   Mar 28, 2014   |   2:42PM   |   Austin, TX

Alliance Defending Freedom allied attorneys with Texas Center for Defense of Life obtained an order from a Texas court Thursday that will prevent a hospitalized man from being starved to death for another 60 days. The order assigns temporary guardianship to his father instead of the man’s estranged wife.

Terry Andrew Mace, 43, suffered a heart attack on March 6. On Saturday, Mace’s wife, from whom he has been separated for five years and with whom he is in the midst of divorce proceedings, ordered the hospital to remove all life-sustaining treatment even though he is not brain dead, he is making faces and breathing on his own, and his heart is recovering.

terrymace“Everyone deserves a chance to recover from an injury, and the extension the judge issued today will allow that to happen,” said Alliance Defending Freedom allied attorney Greg Terra, president of Texas Center for Defense of Life. “A handful of days is much too soon to remove life-sustaining treatment. We will continue to monitor the situation in the hope that Terry will recover and walk out of the hospital.”

Mace, who lives in central Texas, started having seizures and then suffered a heart attack three weeks ago. An ambulance transported Mace to Seton Medical Center in Round Rock, where doctors evaluated him and provided him with life-sustaining treatment, which consisted of a ventilator and feeding tube to provide nutrition and hydration.

Mace’s wife, who lived separate from him in Colorado, arrived in Texas last week and directed the hospital on Saturday to remove all life-sustaining treatment, which they did. When the hospital removed the ventilator, Mace was able to breathe on his own but began to slowly die of dehydration. Mace’s father, Terry, immediately flew to Texas from Pennsylvania while his mother, Carol, contacted attorneys with TCDL, which obtained a temporary restraining order Monday that ordered all life-sustaining treatment to continue until a Thursday hearing at County Court at Law #4 of Williamson County. Mace and his wife have three daughters, ages 21, 19, and 16, who also live in Colorado.

“Having a disability shouldn’t be a death sentence,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Litigation Counsel Catherine Glenn Foster. “The court order gives Terry the chance he needs to recover, which is all his parents were asking for.”

The case, In the Guardianship of Terry Andrew Mace, is similar to a 2007 Alliance Defending Freedom case involving Gulf War veteran Jesse Ramirez, whose wife ordered the removal of his life-sustaining treatment after a car accident. After Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys intervened, Ramirez made a full recovery and walked out of the hospital.

Texas Center for Defense of Life is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit pro-life legal organization located in the Austin, Texas area. TCDL is dedicated to providing legal representation and support to pro-life organizations and individuals in Texas and to aggressively defending the sanctity of innocent human life in Texas and federal courts.