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...