Today, State Representative Stephanie Klick (R-Fort Worth) filed House Bill 1455 to protect patients from Do-Not Resuscitate Orders (DNR). Currently, healthcare providers in Texas can legally write DNR orders in hospitals for any patient for any reason without the patient’s knowledge, infringing on the rights of patients to direct their own health care decisions. Even if a patient or the patient’s family wishes to undergo resuscitative measures or continue medical treatment, a doctor can still issue a DNR for that patient against his or his surrogate’s will.
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HB 1455 would help restore the rights of patients to direct their own medical care.
Representative Klick, who is a Registered Nurse, explained the dangers of DNR orders: “‘Do-not-resuscitate’ means that a person is not to receive CPR or defibrillation. Under our current statute in Texas, nutrition and hydration — which I would consider ordinary care — can also be withdrawn.”
As a nurse, Representative Klick has been helping families protect the lives of their loved ones in hospital settings for years. Klick has witnessed first hand how secret DNRs can unnaturally end the life of a patient who in fact wanted CPR or other life-saving measures in the case of a medical complication. Before her election to the State House, she served as one of Texas Right to Life’s patient advocates in the countless denial of treatment cases. She is now leading the way in the Capitol on protecting the sick, disabled, and elderly.
Klick stated that when patients and doctors disagree on treatment, “patients and families should make the final decision. If care is stopped or denied, these patients’ lives may end. I believe that patients and families ought to be making health care decisions. HB 1455 will put patients and families back in charge.”
Texas Right to Life Director, Elizabeth Graham, praised Representative Klick’s leadership on this priority legislation: “Representative Klick has been an outspoken advocate for the disabled, sick, and elderly for many years and has taken her advocacy to the next level in Austin. We are so proud that her first bill filed as an elected official, HB 1455, will save lives and put life or death medical decisions back into the right hands.”