Doctor vs. Patient in Texas

There is a bill (SB 303) winding its way through the Texas legislature that upends the traditionally understood role of advance directives and medical powers of attorney. Specifically, the bill allows doctors to issue do not resuscitate orders (DNRs) that are contrary to patient wishes, as those wishes are expressed in advance directives or by those holding medical powers of attorney for the patient. As the name suggests, the point of an advance directive is the direction, in advance, of the measures to be used in a life-threatening situation in which the patient is rendered unable to express a preference. As an alternative, a medical power of attorney delegates end of life decisions to a surrogate who would make difficult, trusted and prudent decisions if the patient were incapable of doing so. As a complement, DNRs were typically issued by doctors to implement a patient's advance request, when that request was not to receive lifesaving measures. DNRs were not historically a vehicle...(Read Full Article)