Bioethics Blogs

Hospital Duty to Challenge Suspect Directive – Frausto v. Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth

In December, I bloggedabout Frausto v. Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth.  That case is now being briefed to the Texas Supreme Court (No. 15-0450).

In a nutshell, the sons of Diane Rimert argue that the hospital should not have complied with instructions to remove their mother from life support.  Why?  Because they (the sons) had challenged the validity of the directive that their mother had completed.

The issue now being briefed concerns the admissibility of certain testimony from one of the plaintiff’s expert witnesses.  This expert had articulated a standard of care when an advance directive is challenged: continue life support and consult the ethics committee or a court. 

In contrast, the hospital argues that its duties with respect to advance directives are wholly defined by statute (not the standard of care).  Under the Texas Advance Directives Act, the hospital argues that it both can and must comply with a facially valid advance directive.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.