Bioethics Blogs

Texas Legislature Special Session Tackles DNR Orders and Medical Futility

The Texas Legislature is holding a special session that starts today. The session, which follows a five-month regular session that concluded May 29, can last no more than 30 days.

One of the agenda items is “strengthening patient protections relating to do-not-resuscitate orders.”  Already four bills have been introduced.

HB 152, like many bills over the past decade, would amend TADA by eliminating the 10 day transfer period. The amendment would require continued treatment until transfer.

The other three bills are identical. Among other things, HB 12, HB 43, and SB 11 would require patient or surrogate consent for DNR orders unless all three of the following are satisfied:

  1. It is not contrary to the directions of a patient who was competent at the time the patient conveyed the directions.
  2. The patient ’s death is imminent, regardless of the provision of cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
  3. The DNR order is medically appropriate.

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.