AUSTIN (April 18, 2013)---The Texas Senate voted Thursday to give families more protections when doctors want to stop treatment for a terminally-ill patient.
The bill was authored by Sen. Bob Deuell, R-Greenville, a physician who says the measure would give the patient and their families more time to appeal the decision and access to medical records.
It also would require hospitals to continue providing pain management and comfort care.
The bill also says that hospital ethics committees reviewing end-of-life decisions cannot consider a patient's gender, religion, ethnicity or financial status.
The bill is supported by the Texas Medical Association and the Texas Hospital Association, but some right-to-life groups have objected, saying hospitals should provide treatment for as long as the patient or family wants it.
The bill now goes to the House.