Austin, Texas – June 12, 2015: Today, Governor Abbott signed House Bill 3074 into law. HB 3074 serves as the first step in reforming the thoroughly anti-Life provisions of the Texas Advance Directives Act (TADA), which affects patients in hospitals and hospices across the state. HB 3074 limits doctors from withdrawing artificially-administered nutrition and hydration (AANH) from patients without their consent.
Prior to the passage of HB 3074, physicians and hospitals could starve and dehydrate patients to death with the protection of law, and could even do so against the expressed wishes of the patient or his surrogate. Physicians simply had to issue ten days’ notice before withdrawing Life-sustaining treatments. Simply put, healthcare providers had virtual omnipotence over the Life and death of their patients.
HB 3074 stops this callous killing of hospital patients, allowing the withdrawal of AANH only within specific perimeters designed to further safeguard the best interests of the patient. No one has the right to decide that a hospital patient’s Life should be brought to a premature end. The success of HB 3074 is a step toward returning the right to Life to all Texans, from fertilization to natural death.
When initially introduced, the language of HB 3074 was too weak to offer effective protections to hospital patients at-risk of being killed in Texas. However, the bill sponsor, Representative Drew Springer (R-Gainesville), worked to address Texas Right to Life’s concerns along with suggestions that successfully strengthened the bill and led to the version that saw success in the Texas Legislature. We are grateful for Rep. Springer’s cooperation with our efforts and for the dedicated Pro-Life legislators who defended the merits of HB 3074 in their respective chambers.
In May, HB 3074 saw overwhelming support in the House, and unanimous support in the Senate. Today, the bill was signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott amid a handful of stalwart Pro-Life supporters.