Remember when Bush cut his vacation short (the only time he did it) to fly back to D.C. in the middle of the night so that he could sign a bill hastily drafted by Congress to save Terri Schiavo, the Florida woman in a persistent vegetative state?
It was a national debate which pitted the pro-life religious right with the pro-death-with-dignity everybody else.
Well — right now — there is a woman in a Texas hospital named Andrea Clark. Like Schiavo, she is being kept alive by machines. But whereas Schiavo’s legal guardian and husband wanted Schiavo to die with dignity, Clark’s family and legal guardian are opposed to pulling the plug.
But early next week, the Texas hospital will pull the plug anyway, based on the decision of one single physician, and against the family’s wishes.
How can the hospital get away with this?
It’s all due to something called the Taxas Futile Care Law, signed into law in 1999 by then-Texas-governor George Bush. Essentially, it allows an ethics committee of a hospital to terminate terminal care even against the wishes of the family and the patient. Read more.