HB 3074 to protect patients from dehydration & starvation heads to Governor Abbott

House Bill 3074 protects hospitalized patients from forced starvation and dehydration and is now headed to Governor Greg Abbott’s desk to be signed into law. The bill was sponsored by Representative Drew Springer (R-Gainesville), who worked diligently with Texas Right to Life to ensure that HB 3074’s provisions were carefully revised to ensure that artificially administered nutrition and hydration (AANH) would not be withdrawn over a patient’s medical directive. HB 3074 passed easily in the State House of Representatives on May 15th, and yesterday, the Senate unanimously approved the measure.

HB 3074 marks a small but positive first step in the long road to reform the entire Texas Advance Directives Act (TADA). Since 1999, TADA authorized physicians and hospitals to remove food, water, and other life-sustaining treatment from patients after providing ten days notice and even if the patient objects to such removal. TADA is a draconian law that has claimed countless Texas lives over the last sixteen years while Pro-Lifers working to overturn the law were stonewalled in session after session.

Joining in negotiations with Texas Right to Life and with Representative Springer to strengthen HB 3074 were Representative Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola), the Pro-Life Whip in the State House, Representative Stephanie Klick (R-Fort Worth), Representative Dan Huberty (R-Kingwood), Representative Richard Raymond (R-Laredo), Representative James Frank (R-Wichita Falls), and Representative Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound), who serves as the Chair for the Republican caucus. These legislators recognize the abrogation of civil liberties in the current law and have helped Texas Right to Life shape policy on reforms, including the food and water provision in Springer’s HB 3074. 

Texas Right to Life is pleased that Representative Springer drew attention to this important patient protection, and we appreciate him paving the path for other substantial reforms to TADA in future legislative sessions.