Surviving Hospitals: How Texas Law Allows Health Care Providers To End Treatment 

And what you can do to stop them

by Impact Wire Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Many Texans are shocked when they learn about the one-sided powers given to doctors and hospitals by the Texas Advance Directives Act of 1999. Although, as the title of the legislation suggests, it was originally enacted to provide health care providers, patients, and families a procedure for handling end of life care requests and directives, in reality it makes Texas one of only two states to give doctors and hospitals very liberal power to override the wishes of patients and their families. In many cases, hospitals and doctors have used the statute to terminate a patient's life, despite disagreement of family members.

Robert Painter, an attorney in Houston with Painter Law Firm, has been dealing with hospitals that are trying to terminate care of their patients and has created a guide to help patients and families and their representatives who have just encountered this law.

The guide, featured on www.SurvivingHospitals.com, explains the how the law works against patients, the steps hospital administrators and doctors take to trick the families of patients (who rarely have legal knowledge) to quickly end care, how the hospitals meet and make decisions to end care often before they meet, and most importantly how to stop the process and save the patient where the law is loaded towards the hospitals.

In a recent case represented by Painter, a hospital called a patient's family and left a voicemail explaining that if they didn't remove their ill father from the hospital, that the hospital was going to send him "on to glory." The voicemail can be heard on www.SurvivingHospitals.com.

"It's a typical tactic used by hospitals to try to strong-arm families to make a decision that the hospitals want," Painter said. "The reason is, if you can strong-arm them without starting the legal process, then there's no review, no injunction or court case, no legal fees and no one will know the difference. Quite often I call this an effort to bury malpractice."

Painter said all cases follow a pattern of strong-armed tactics to influence the family to make a decision that's in the interest of the hospital instead of the patient. "In once case the hospital tried to get the daughter of the patient alone to try to twist her home to end treatment of her mother or to take her home to die immediately," he said. "If she dies at home, then there's no report of the death, and it's all swept under the rug. They'll even go to family members and find someone 'enlighted' like the hospital and tell them to talk to the other family members, in violation of HIPPA, to convince the other family members to turn against each other under the impression that the patient wouldn't want to live like a vegetable. These are progressive tactics of intimidation, starting with arm-twisting."

Robert Painter's step-by-step guide for patients and families if they find themselves in the situation where the hospital wants to end their life can be found at www.SurvivingHospitals.com.

Contact

Painter Law Firm
Call toll free in Texas
1-866-416-5858

Telephone 281-580-8800
Fax 281-580-8802

Painter Law Firm PLLC
12750 Champion Forest Drive
Houston, TX 77066

www.painterfirm.com
www.SurvivingHospitals.com

General | Categories: government, health, law
0    submitted by Impact Wire
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