Four-year-old killed by 10-Day Rule

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Four-year-old Clifton suffered a traumatic brain injury on July 20, 2012, and was flown to Children’s Memorial Hermann in Houston.  Clifton was given a ventilator to regulate his breathing, a feeding tube, and blood pressure medications. The hospital demanded they would only continue providing care for Clifton if he had a Do-Not-Resuscitate order (DNR).  His mother, Sandra, did not want to consent to a DNR but the doctor said, “I am not asking you.  I am telling you.”

Clifton began having seizures and seemed unresponsive.  Doctors pressured Sandra to give up on her son and donate his organs.  

By the grace of God, Clifton began to move for the first time in weeks, and Sandra regained hope.  

Despite his improvement, the hospital called multiple “ethics committee” meetings to discuss pulling the plug on Clifton (against Sandra’s will).  At each meeting, there were as many as 25 people in the room, most of whom never treated or even examined Clifton. When Sandra asked questions or voiced concerns about her son, the committee replied, “This is not a courtroom where people can object.  This isn’t up for discussion.”

Clifton’s health kept improving.  He no longer needed any blood pressure medications, and his movements became more intentional.  Despite all his progress, the hospital committee decided to pull the plug on Clifton (against Sandra’s will) and began the 10-day countdown.  

On July 27, 2012, Sandra watched her son be removed from his ventilator.  Doctors said they did not expect him to live more than 20 minutes off the ventilator, but for over an hour, Sandra watched her precious child convulse and gasp for air.  

After what felt like everlasting emotional torture, Sandra’s son died in her arms.  Clifton fought for his life for five weeks before the 10-Day Rule passively euthanized him.  Sandra now fights for the lives of other Texas patients, sharing Clifton’s story so that one day, families will no longer have to fight against Texas hospitals for the lives of their loved ones.

Take action.  Ask your state senator to end the 10-Day Rule.

A case similar to Clifton’s is happening right now in a Houston hospital.  Read more about Donald Jones’s fight to save his wife:

The Texas 10-Day Rule allows hospitals to pull the plug on patients against their will – a form of involuntary euthanasia.  Senate Bill 2089 by Senator Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) would have protected these Texans from the 10-Day Rule in the Texas Advance Directives Act.  

Before another Texan is victimized by this process, the Texas Legislature must listen to the only stakeholders who actually matter: families victimized by the current law.  For their sake, and for the protection of all future Texas families, the Legislature must repeal the 10-Day Rule.  Click here to tell your legislators in Austin to end the 10-Day Rule!

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  1. This kind of thing angers me so much, because I personally spent 5 weeks in PICU and the doctors told my family numerous times that there was absolutely no hope and that I was going to die. That happened in Louisiana, but I have no doubt in my mind that if I had been in Texas at that time, they would have attempted to cut my life short. Miracles do happen. I am one of them. Every time I hear these stories I hear people invalidating my life and that of my three children that were born in the years following my incident. None of us would be here if my mom and dad had decided to remove me from life support based on what the doctors were telling them.

  2. Amelia Carter on

    What has happened to the USA where life of the unborn and those on this 10 day rule no longer matters. All of you need to remember those doctors are practicing medicine and we pay them to practice on us. They are not gods but human beings.

  3. Amelia Carter on

    My heart goes out to Clifton’s mother. God give her strength that she will need.

  4. Brenda Crouse on

    Please end the 10 Day Rule! It is barbaric to think a human life doesn’t matter anymore. Only God has the right to end a life.

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