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End-of-life care controversy

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Amarillo, TX - You could help save a loved one on life-support with new proposed legislation.

Texas law allows a doctor to end a person's life if they believe treatment is not working. They can issue a Do Not Resuscitate order without consulting the patient.

Senate Bill 303 would allow communication between the patient, doctor, ethics committee, and family or legal guardian before a decision is made to terminate someone's life. Also, give them 21 days instead of 10 to appeal a doctor's decision and find another provider.

The panhandle's Bishop hopes this bill becomes law to respect the person's life. Bishop Patrick Zurek says, "The doctor alone should not be the single person writing a Do Not Resuscitate order. The patient, if conscious, has a right to be part of that decision. And so does the family... We would never want to do anything to hasten death, to induce death. But there's the other side of coin too from our moral teaching. You would not want to make someone stay alive on machinery, or even just with medications when there's absolutely no hope of that person recovering"

Senate Bill 303 would also ensure a liaison is provided to help with the appeal's process, collecting free copies of medical records, and being represented by an ethics committee. The bill was approved by the Senate and is currently in House Committee.

Jessica Abuchaibe, NewsChannel 10. 

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