Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Alert Woman Threatened With Death in Houston Hospital

Alert Woman Threatened With Death After Houston Hospital Votes to Remove Life Support

by Gudrun Schultz

A woman who wants to live is facing death after a hospital ethics committee voted behind closed doors to remove her from life support, reported World Net Daily today.

Officials at St. Luke’s Hospital in Houston can legally remove Andrea Clark’s respirator against the expressed wishes of herself and her family, under a Texas law that gives hospitals the power to decide if a patient’s life is “worth” maintaining.

If the hospital ethics committee decides to withdraw care and treatment from the patient, the family has just 10 days to find another treatment center.

Ms. Clark, 54, developed bleeding on her brain after open-heart surgery and needs a ventilator to breathe. Although she suffered damage to her motor functions, her mental capacity was not affected. Her family says she communicates with them by moving her lips and blinking her eyes, since she is not able to speak.

Lanore Dixon, Ms. Clark’s sister, told KHOU-TV the law allows the ethics committee to ignore her sister’s desire to live.

“If their ethics committee makes a decision, it doesn’t matter what the patient wants. It doesn’t even apparently matter what the patient’s condition is, because our sister is not in a coma; she’s not brain dead.”

“They just say, ‘Well she’s miserable.’ Well, to me that’s a quality of life decision that is up to her and her family. That is not a medical decision.”

Renowned pro-life writer and lecturer Wesley J. Smith said on his blog site, “Texas has a terrible law that permits an unelected, self-appointed, anonymous ethics committee to forcibly remove care.”

“These are life and death decisions… A law permits private decision-making that will result in death without even the right to a public hearing, to cross examine witnesses, or a formal appeal.”

Mr. Smith said the situation appears to be an example of a growing movement among the medical community to refuse wanted life sustaining treatment because it will keep the patient alive.

“Note that the treatment is apparently being removed because it works, not because it doesn’t — which means, in effect that the hospital ethics committee has declared the patient’s life to be futile.”

Andrea Clark’s family is fighting hard to find another facility for her before the 10 days are up.

To contact St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital:

St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital
6720 Bertner Avenue,
Houston, TX 77030

(This article courtesy of


Blogger amyadoptee said...

I have to wonder if they forced my own mother to make a decision like this with my step dad
by the way is that you Marcia

Sunday, April 30, 2006 at 12:32:00 PM CDT  

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