Bioethics Blogs

Lawsuit Challenging Constitutionality of Texas Death Panels Should Continue Despite Death – Dunn v. Houston Methodist Hospital

Chris Dunn, whose family and Texas Right to Life had sued Houston Methodist Hospital to keep him alive, died Wednesday. (Houston Chronicle)

As I blogged last month, the lawsuit challenged the constitutionality of the Texas Advance Directives Act.  Too often, such cases are dismissed after the patient’s death but before any court ruling.  For example,TRTL says it has advocated for patients in 300 similar cases.  Yet, in only a few (like Emilio Gonzalez) was there any constitutional challenge.

Consequently, US clinicians have very little guidance on their rights and duties in such cases.  Contrast that with clinicians in the UK where courts have ruled on the merits of dozens and dozens of futility cases.

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.