2023 was a mixed bag on Pro-Life issues in the Texas Capitol. The Legislature neglected preborn children by failing to stop illegal abortion pills coming into our state and underfunding Pro-Life pregnancy resource centers and adoption agencies. However, one lawmaker spearheaded the greatest Pro-Life victory in decades for vulnerable hospital patients. Representative Stephanie Klick (R-Fort Worth) invested months of hard work to restore more patients’ rights and medical freedom.
Representative Klick authored House Bill 3162, which significantly improves protections for vulnerable patients in Texas hospitals who are at risk of having their life-sustaining treatment withdrawn against their will. Since 1999, Texas patients have suffered under the Texas Advance Directives Act, including the anti-Life 10-Day Rule, which removes life-and-death decisions from patients and families and lets hospital committees decide if patients live or die.
The original 1999 law only gave 10 days’ notice before a hospital committee takes away life-sustaining treatment against a patient’s will, which too often causes or hastens the patient’s death.
Klick and her diligent staff recognized this attack on the Right to Life and led meetings between various medical and Pro-Life organizations to negotiate and find common ground in drafting a reform bill. Representative Klick’s leadership forged an agreement on how to give more power and rights to patients.
Just a few of the changes this law makes include:
- Preventing hospital committees from making life-and-death decisions against a patient’s will based on discriminatory “quality of life” judgements;
- Prohibiting hospitals from withdrawing life-sustaining treatment from competent patients against their will;
- Extending the countdown from 10 to 25 days; and
- Requiring hospitals to perform procedures necessary to facilitate a transfer before imposing the countdown on a patient.
For 20 years, both Texas Right to Life and Representative Klick have been working to reform the 10-Day Rule. Even before serving in the Legislature, Klick educated others on this important though often overlooked Pro-Life issue. Getting this bill across the finish line was not an easy process, and it is the most substantial reform to this law ever passed. While there are still more changes needed to protect patients, HB 3162 is an important, incremental step to better protect Texans facing the anti-Life 10-Day Rule (now 25-Day Rule). This bill helps make the process more balanced and humane, and would not have been possible without Representative Klick.
Klick is a fervent, reliable Pro-Life voice in the Texas Capitol, and her courage in the House led to many significant Pro-Life victories, with HB 3162 as just the most recent. With Representative Klick in the Texas House, we can count on Pro-Life issues remaining a top priority. Texas Right to Life is proud to name Representative Stephanie Klick the Pro-Life Champion for the 88th Legislature!