Bioethics Blogs

Deuell v. Texas Right to Life Committee – Lawsuit over Texas Advance Directive Act

In 2014, Texas state senator Bob Deuell was running for reelection.  For years, Deuell was one of the most active legislators working to improve the fairness of the “futility” provisions in the Texas Advance Directives Act.

But to improve TADA meant preserving it.  And that was contrary to the mission of the Texas Right to Life Committee.  They attacked Deuell and he was not reelected.  

Specifically TRLC ran ads that said:  “Before you trust Bob Deuell to protect life, please listen carefully.  If your loved one is in the hospital, you may be shocked to learn that a faceless hospital panel can deny life-sustaining care . . . . Bob Deuell sponsored a bill to give even more power to these hospital panels over life and death for our ailing family members.   Bob Deuell turned his back on life and on disabled patients.”

Deuell sent cease and desist letters to the radio stations and they pulled the ads.  But TRLC then sued Deuell for tortuous interference with contract.  

This week, the Texas Court of Appeals affirmed trial court’s denial of Deuell’s motion to dismiss pursuant to the Texas Citizens Participation Act.  So, TRLC’s lawsuit will proceed.

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.