Texas Legislation Update: SB 1813 passes in committee; help stop HB 2351

SB 1813, which would end confidential complaints against physicians, passed by an overwhelming majority in the Texas Senate Health & Human Services Committee on Monday.  AAPS’s General Counsel personally testified in favor of this bill last week in Austin.  The Senate committee passed this good bill despite the unjustified opposition by the Texas Medical Association and the Texas Hospital Association.  Thank you for your help in passing this good bill out of committee, and congratulations!

Meanwhile, we need your help to stop HB 2351, which is a handout to the hospital industry to make end-of-life decisions contrary to the recommendations of independent physicians, and contrary to the wishes of patients and their families.  In a classic example of allowing the fox to guard the henhouse, HB 2351 authorizes hospitals to write their own conflict-of-interest policies for themselves.

HB 2351 is scheduled for a vote by the full House on Thursday, so immediate calls to Texas House members are needed now!  Click here if you already know your House member’s name and here if you need to look it up.

Why would the legislature grant power to hospital administrators, who routinely grab millions of dollars in compensation for themselves from “nonprofit” hospitals, to decide for themselves what is ethical and what is not?  HB 2351 is a nightmare for the rights of patients and independent physicians.

HB 2351 gives no power to the patients.  Instead, HB 2351 has this provision that pretends to provide protection, when in fact it does the opposite by telling hospitals to:

prohibit consideration of a patient ’s permanent physical or mental disability during a review under that section unless the disability is relevant in determining whether a medical or surgical intervention is medically appropriate.

In other words, HB 2351 says that hospitals should not consider a physical or mental disability in deciding to end a patient’s life, unless the hospital wants to end someone’s life based on a perceived physical or mental disability.  Texas Right to Life joins AAPS in opposing this anti-patient bill.  AAPS’s motto has long been, “all for the patient.”

Please contact your legislator in the Texas House to urge him to vote “no” on HB 2351.  This is a bad bill that empowers hospitals to act unethically, and authorizes them to discriminate against disabled patients.  This bill would be a terrible setback to the practice of private, ethical medicine.

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