Advance directives

Advance Directives Act: Directive to Physicians - 01/02/2020

The Texas Health and Safety Code authorizes the use of a written Directive to Physicians in accordance with these guidelines.

TMA Supports Medical Ethics Committee Review Law in Latest Challenge - 12/20/2019

TMA has joined several other organizations on a friend-of-the-court brief in a case challenging the state's medical ethics committee review law. In the most recent challenge, the mother of a 10-month-old girl who since birth has been on life-support at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, has sued the hospital and obtained a temporary restraining order to keep her daughter on life support.

Get Paid for End-of-Life Care Discussions With Patients - 07/18/2019

Since 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has used two Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) payment codes for conversations about end-of-life treatment.

What the End-of-Life Bill Really Does - 05/03/2018

Putting our patient’s interest first sometimes means providing comfort care and allowing the patient to die a calm, peaceful, and honorable death. In the most cases, the patient, the physician, and the family agree on this course of action.

TMA, Others Weigh in on End-of-Life Care Lawsuit - 08/15/2017

TMA has signed on to a friend-of-the-court brief opposing a constitutional challenge to part of the Texas Advance Directives Act. That law protects physicians from liability for not performing life-sustaining interventions if the doctor believes further intervention isn't medically appropriate for the patient.

Help Physicians Honor Patients’ End-of-Life Wishes - 05/09/2017

End-of-life decisions cannot always be made in a contemplative fashion with adequate time to consider options, collect the needed witnesses, and draft and sign the proper documents. All too often, they must be made in the emergency department. We are seriously concerned that the bill as filed does not account for the realities that patients, families, and physicians face in emergency care.

SB 675 Eviscerates Texas Advanced Directives Act - 05/20/2016

TMA opposes Senate Bill 675. Although the bill is quite short, its impact would be quite large. If passed as written, SB 675 would eviscerate a very good law – the Texas Advance Directives Act. It would subject terminally ill patients to unneeded pain and suffering, and expose physicians and caregivers to a very vague new cause of legal action.

Protecting the Patient-Physician Relationship at the End of Life - 05/20/2016

Senate Bill 303 and many of the other bills on this topic, alter the Texas Advanced Directives Act, which was written to provide families a reasonable process to resolve differences of opinion if difficult treatment decisions occur. This subject is so sensitive and thus must be handled delicately and thoughtfully. Changes to this law should be made only with support from patients and their families — as well as by the entire community of physicians, nurses, hospitals, nursing homes, and hospices who take care of patients near the end of life.

Politicians Play Doctor - 05/13/2016

Law Should Allow Physicians to Use Their Judgment Commentary — November 2014 Tex Med. 2014;110(11):11-12. By Rachel E. Solnick and Austin G. Meyer In Texas, as in all other states, a person who is unable to make his or her own medical decisions has the right to an advance directive (AD) for restricting medical treatment; that is, unless that person is pregnant. A pregnant woman in Texas loses her right to an AD; that is true regardless of the stage of her pregnancy and without regard for the medical circumstances of her pregnancy.  In Texas, the law bars women from generating an AD that is binding in pregnancy, and it bars physicians from following a pregnant patient's wishes if that patient is incapacitated. Taken to their logical conclusion, such laws abridge the fundamental right to refuse medical treatment by forcing treatment as prescribed by the legislature. We intend to show three fundamental problems with these laws.  First, they run counter to the intent of ADs. Second...

Law Provides Assurance - 05/13/2016

Advance Directives Act Doesn't Infringe on Pregnant Women's Rights Commentary — November 2014  Tex Med. 2014;110(11):9-10.  By Beverly B. Nuckols, MD The Texas Advance Directives Act prohibits the removal of "life-sustaining treatment" from patients who are pregnant, whether in the presence of a previous formal advance directive to physicians or when the patient's surrogates are acting in the interests of the incompetent patient. Rather than discriminate against the rights of women or specifically against pregnant women, the act is legal recognition of the unique relationship between a pregnant woman and her child in utero that is not mirrored in any other set of circumstances in nature or in medicine.  The act is an example of normative laws influenced by ethics. These generally lag behind medical and technological advances and the development of public opinion. Written in 1999 to consolidate and clarify several sections of Texas laws applying to patients, doctors, medica...