The FBI has investigated a North Texas hospice where an affidavit indicates that the founder and executive of the company, Brad Harris, routinely instructed medical employees to fatally overdose hospice patients. Harris allegedly wished to maximize profit to his company, Novus Health Care Services, Inc. in Frisco, by hastening the deaths of patients.
The affidavit allegedly indicates that Harris sent text messages to employees reading, for example, “You need to make this patient go bye-bye,” and would instruct them to administer overdoses of drugs like morphine to cause patients’ deaths. The reported abuses at Novus Health Care Services are symptomatic of a corrupt medical ethic in Texas because of draconian legislation – namely, the Texas Advance Directives Act (TADA), which allows physicians and hospitals to end patients’ lives without their consent – even when legal documents express contrary wishes of the patient.
At Texas Right to Life, we have served as patient advocates for hundreds of Texans whose lives were threatened by the TADA and we have worked for more than a decade to reform Texas law and eradicate the unethical TADA from the Texas Health & Safety Code. The same Pro-Life conviction which galvanizes us to oppose elective abortion also moves us to protect vulnerable Texans subject to inhumane and anti-Life statutes like the Texas Advance Directives Act.
The unconscionable actions at the Frisco clinic are tragic examples of the disregard for human Life that characterizes these anti-Life ethics. Texas Right to Life has witnessed a staggering number of cases in which Texans have been similarly devalued and trampled for the sake of profit and convenience. To do an about-face from caring for the naturally dying – as hospice should – to introducing the cause of death of the hospice’s patients betrays Pro-Life principles in the most heinous way.
But sadly, this callous devaluing of Life is effectively sanctioned by the portion of the Texas Advance Directives Act, which allows physicians and hospitals to end their patients’ lives by inserting a secret or unwanted Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) order or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment in a patient’s medical record. The TADA’s ultimate betrayal is the statute’s codification of subjective value judgments by doctors over the worth of a patient’s Life. All human Life is immensely and inherently valuable. At Texas Right to Life, we will continue our efforts to repeal the TADA and fight for patients’ rights until that principle is once again established in Texas law and guides our state’s medical community.