As Pro-Lifers, we can't expect journalists to cover the issues important to us. Through experience, we've learned that we can only hope the media will try to cover the issues fairly.
So, when I read reporter Becca Aaronson's piece in The Texas Tribune about Senate Bill 303, any misplaced glimmer of hope left for fair and unbiased coverage was fully extinguished. At least her colleague, seemingly unaffiliated Emily Ramshaw, does achieve some civility and fairness in her coverage of Pro-Life efforts.
Ms. Aaronson contrived a story about gossip and personalities and avoided the policies and patients' rights at the core of the struggle to defeat SB 303.
Below are some excerpts from The Texas Tribune with Texas Right to Life's corrections to her cartoonish reporting:
“Political powerhouse Texas Right to Life is working overtime to try to defeat a compromise measure aimed at improving state laws governing 'end of life' medical decisions. But with time running out to get Senate Bill 303 passed, the fight over the legislation has shifted from political to personal.”
Friend, no compromise among the crafters of SB 303 was necessary.
SB 303 was crafted ONLY by organizations that agree on granting more power to hospital panels to withdraw medical treatment from patients against their wishes. Not all patients who are victims of current law are at the end of their lives so classifying such situations as “end of life medical decisions” is misleading, unless, of course, these decisions do cause the end of life of the patient.
In her report about SB 303, Ms. Aaronson mocked Texas Right to Life for keeping our membership informed. She wrote:
“In emails sent to supporters, Graham has argued that the measure would 'strengthen Texas' death panels,' 'give even more power to hospitals' and allow doctors to issue 'do not attempt resuscitation' orders 'even against your protest!”
We were attacked for using the term “death panel,” but we don’t know what else to call a committee that decides when and under what terms a patient dies. “Ethics committee” is a euphemistic legal term, which we hardly find appropriate to describe a body empowered to make unethical lethal decisions with impunity.
Friend, Texas Right to Life has long-watched families suffer from the decisions made by hospital panels. Each month, we receive frantic calls from families who find themselves in the cross-hairs of these committees who make decisions to discontinue care of their loved ones. Too often, the hospitals turn their backs on them because Texas law protects their decision to end care, even the withdrawal of food and water.
Yours for Life,