Pro-Life Texans OPPOSE HB 3074 by Representative Drew Springer (R-Gainesville)

 The Committee on State Affairs in the Texas House of Representatives will hear testimony on HB 3074 and the revised version, a bill being marketed as reform to the Texas Advance Directives Law.  True reforms to the Texas Advance Directives Act must include clear definitions and objective standards to protect hospitalized patients.  HB 3074 includes neither.

The Texas Advance Directives Law needs reforms and patient protections.  HB 3074 offers neither and only strengthens current law that authorizes hospital ethics committees to impose quality of life value judgments on patients.  Not one single life will be saved with House Bill 3074.

Even more troubling, HB 3074 offers 5 exceptions under which hospital ethics committees can actually withdraw food and water-even if the patient and his family are requesting this.  The exceptions are so broadly written and subjective that the hospital committee can withdraw food and water, called “artificially administered nutrition and hydration” or “AANH” in HB 3074, as the committee finds appropriate.

For over a decade, Texas Right to Life has led efforts to reform the law by pushing for more patient protections and is the ONLY organization helping hospitalized patients navigate the transfer process when the hospitals move to withdraw lifesaving treatment from the patients against their will.

Texas Right to Life has met with Representative Springer about HB 3074 to share our experience as patient advocates and to alert him to these loopholes.  Alternative language was offered that would enable Texas Right to Life to support the bill; however, our concerns have not been addressed.

Texas Right to Life has filed two bills that adequately apply Pro-Life principles and patient protections to the current ten-day law.  However, these bills have not yet been scheduled for a committee hearing.  Meanwhile, controversial bills that further empower hospitals are being heard and advanced as the time remaining in the 84th Texas Legislative Session quickly evaporates.

Read more about Texas Right to Life’s real reform bills to protect patients, HB 3414 and HB 2949here.

Founded in 1973, Texas Right to Life is the oldest, largest, and only statewide Pro-Life organization in Texas.  Recognized as the statewide leader of the Pro-Life movement in Texas, TXRTL works through legislation and education to protect the rights of the unborn, persons with disabilities, the sick, the elderly, and the vulnerable through legal, peaceful, and prayerful means.