Bill Costea passed away of natural causes over the weekend. He was hospitalized in April for heart complications; then, Baylor Scott and White in Temple imposed a 10-day countdown on Bill’s life, which was set to expire June 4.
Eugenia, Bill’s wife of 33 years, stood by him and advocated for his Right to Life against the awful 10-Day Rule.
Instead of allowing Eugenia the space and peace to be with her husband in his final days, the hospital imposed the 10-Day Rule, forcing Eugenia to seek legal help and spend her time arguing with hospital ethics committees.
The hospital’s actions are legal under the 10-Day Rule, a provision of the Texas Advance Directives Act, which forces everyday Texans to race against a countdown.
The Costeas’ legal team is continuing to consider all legal options available to adjudicate the deprivation of rights both Mr. and Mrs. Costea experienced.
The Costeas’ attorney Emily Cook responded:
When a group of random men and women can strip away a wife’s medical decision-making power, with no findings from a court of law that she is incapable of exercising that authority, such a law clearly violates both hers and Bill’s due process rights. Bill wanted his wife to make his medical decisions, that’s why he executed a medical power of attorney. Texans are rightly alarmed that hospitals and physicians allegedly have this power.
Emily Cook and Waco-based attorney Ryan Luna filed and were granted a temporary restraining order against Baylor Scott and White late Friday afternoon. Sadly, Bill subsequently passed away. As the 10-day countdown had not expired and a temporary restraining order was in place, Bill did not die from removal of life-sustaining treatment.
Bill’s passing, however, underscores how unnecessary the 10-Day Rule is.
The hospital ethics committee chairman believed Bill would pass away from his underlying condition even with the provision of life-sustaining treatment. Nevertheless, the hospital ethics committee decided to start the countdown to ensure that if Bill did not die as quickly as they would like, the law gave them the opportunity to hasten his death.
Please join Texas Right to Life in praying for Bill’s soul and for his beloved wife, Eugenia.