Senate Bill 303
April 24, 2013
Decisions on end of life treatment are never made lightly, and my decision to support Senate Bill 303 was no exception. After much consideration, I, along with all of my Senate Democratic colleagues and a majority of my Republican colleagues, voted to support Senate Bill 303, an important bill that goes a long way to ensuring that terminally ill individuals have options and dignity during their last days.
Specifically, S.B. 303:
- Improves the notification and appeal processes for families or surrogates when a Do-Not-Attempt-to-Resuscitate Order is used;
- Requires an independent ethics committee reviewing disagreements to treat all patients equally, without regard to permanent physical or mental disabilities, age, gender, religion, ethnic background, or financial/insurance status.
- Ensures that artificially administered nutrition and hydration cannot be withdrawn from a patient, unless continuing to provide that treatment would harm the patient;
- Ensures the process is applied only to patients for whom life-sustaining treatment would be medically inappropriate and ineffective, and difficult for the patient to endure;
- Provides the family or surrogate with a patient liaison to help guide them through the process;
- Provides the family or surrogate with a free copy of the patient’s medical record; and
- Invites the family or surrogate to attend the ethics committee meeting at which future care for their loved one will be discussed.
I believe this bill is a move in the right direction. The bill is supported by Leading Age Texas and the Texas and New Mexico Hospice Organization, along with others.
© 2016 Kirk Watson Texas Senator All Rights Reserved
Political advertisement paid for by Kirk Watson Campaign,
P.O. Box 2004, Austin, TX, 78768; Rosie Mendoza,Treasurer.