HERE IS VALUABLE INFORMATION ABOUT WHAT THE TEXAS LEGISLATURE IS CONSIDERING, SOME BILLS COULD ENDANGER YOUR LIFE AND THE LIVES OF YOUR LOVED ONES

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The Usual Suspects + Faux Life Groups Seek to Kill SB 2089, 2129, & Vulnerable PatientsPosted: 30 Apr 2019 07:31 PM PDTIt has just come to my attention that Texas Alliance for Life (“TAL”), Texans for Life Coalition, the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops (“TCCB”), the Texas Medical Association, the Texas Hospital Association, the Catholic Health Association of Texas and others have formed a coalition (read their statement here) seeking to kill SB 2089 which I wrote about hereherehere, and here. They offer no alternative language, they want it as dead as the patients subjected to this law. 
You should know that a much larger coalition of honest and authentic pro-life organizations and individuals have written in support of these bills. You should also recall that vastly more testified and registered in support of these bills – 9 to 1 – than against them as I reported here. This is what the people want because they see the problems with the law as it is currently. Bobby Schindler, an expert on euthanasia, not only testified in favor of this legislation, he wrote an OpEd about it. Noted bioethicist, Wesley J. Smith, has written and testified about Texas’ shameful law as well a number of times and just recently testified along with Bobby Schindler (see the same link above). 
It’s time that the pro-life and religious organizations that have chosen this path are called out as the fakes they are. One of the primary opponents of these bills is Texas Alliance for Life. It has gone so far as to issue a call to action asking its supporters to oppose these bills. Recall that its executive director sat next to Chris Dunn’s mother and lied about him and his case – under oath – before a Senate committee hearing.
These organizations claim – publicly at least – that their support for TADA is about doctor conscience protection. That’s a boldfaced lie. There is no need to kill off sick patients to assuage a doctor’s conscience. I’ve asked these supporters about this directly in the past online and they drop out of comboxes as soon as the question is raised. Just transfer the patient’s care to another doctor or facility. But they oppose that. They oppose removing the alleged issue for a doctor’s conscience. TAL made that clear in its testimony above and in many sessions before this one. 
They claim that patients want every available medical intervention indefinitely. Again, that’s not true and we’ve addressed that before and did so in testimony just a few weeks ago. 
These organizations oppose giving patients the right to direct their own care and maintain life-sustaining treatment as their diseases overtake them. In some cases, they’d kill off a patient who can make a recovery. They SUPPORT withdrawing life-sustaining care against a patient’s will – they SUPPORT involuntary passive euthanasia. TAL’s own board members have stated so very clearly in published writings. What they support – the only thing they support – is killing off a patient prematurely and against his will. And at least two or three of these organizations claim the mantle of pro-life. What is pro and life about what they are doing here? 
This very letter they are a signatories to talks about ending suffering. That is euthanasia. TAL, in particular, is again supporting the very definition of euthanasia. But these patients are often not suffering or the extent of it is unknowable. Moreover, that’s a call for them to make or their families. Some of these organizations or their leaders claim Catholicism; but as you may know, Catholicism teaches about redemptive suffering. And, the ugly truth is, what these hospital ethics committees actually base these decisions on is a “quality of life” determination. That’s not for them to decide either. They don’t claim conscience issues either. Not there. Not then. And, again, even if that were valid, it could be addressed without killing the patient. 
Let me be clear about this as well: it does not matter that others went along with this as the lesser evil it was back in 1999 when they were forced into it. I’ve addressed this time and again and most recently said:
You need to know that others who may have initially supported this law in the beginning have come to regret that because whatever was intended, assuming arguendo that there was ever anything benevolent intended here by the doctors’ and hospitals’ lobbies, that is not what happened and that is not what goes on behind closed doors. We have to fix whatis in this law and how it is used and be honest about those problems. Having some misguided loyalty (or worse) to a law you helped create 20 years ago that is a disaster only speaks to your issues but not to the realities of the law. Nor does that undermine or shine a negative light on the others who saw the error in the law and have worked tirelessly to fix it and help those affected by it. Those who attack Texas Right to Life on this point are wrong to do so. Their arguments are as unpersuasive as they are illogical, absurd, and, in some cases, based on outright lies (and I’m going to prove that to you soon). And, if Texas Right to Life is a little less likely to believe the medical lobby and those supporting the medical lobby, well, the old saying “Fool me once….” applies here in spades. Understand that these faux life groups and the TCCB as well as the Catholic Health Association of Texas are allying themselves with at least one organization that supports abortion, for Pete’s sake. Do we really need to know anything else to judge that these organizations have – at a minimum – lost their way and cannot be trusted on matters of life? 
Texas Right to Life has addressed this ridiculous argument time and again as well. They see this law doesn’t work for patients – it works against them – and that the very organizations that make up this coalition who oppose these bills lied in 1999 and continue to do so. As the only real pro-life group in the state and the only one that helps patients navigate this draconian procedure, Texas Right to Life sees that the law does not facilitate communication with doctors as patients are can be and often are prohibited from speaking at ethics hearings. I’ve seen it personally. There is no due process in this law whatsoever. It fails that on every level. TAL and these same orgs could not even argue that in their amici brief in the appeal challenging the constitutionality of TADA. They ignored the due process argument entirely. Telling. 
These orgs, especially TAL, regurgitate the same tired lies time and again. But they don’t lift a finger to help those in the crosshairs of this monstrous law – the worst in the nation – because they don’t really support life. In the case of the Catholic Health Association, their opposition to due process and patient protection is particularly chilling. My goodness. We can see where that leads and how morally compromised they are. I sat next to their representative at the hearing on SB 2089. It was chilling. And dark. These organizations – and I specifically mean the faux life ones and the Catholic ones – are frauds and a danger to all Texans as all Texans will be or will have a loved one in a hospital at some point in time. 
TAL hides behind – or directs? – the Texas Catholic Bishops who are only too willing to lend a hand to this macabre practice. People wonder why as well. Despite the bastardized interpretation of Catholic teaching TAL and the Catholic orgs all promote, there is nothing in Catholic teaching that supports this. The Bishops are compromised on many things morally anyway; this is just added to the list. The scandal to the faithful that they all promote by this is another level of their destruction. God help them all. 
TAL in particular seems hell bent on seeing to it that people are involuntarily passively euthanized. I don’t know what happened to that organization and it doesn’t matter. It needs to be called out. Lives matter. All lives matter. All lives are valuable and worthy of protection. And even if these orgs don’t think so, they don’t get to make that decision. (TAL is run by a Catholic and the TCCB and Catholic Health Association are presumably Catholic or run by or advised by Catholics. Read up on the Principle of Subsidiarity. I’ve written about it herehere, and here.) The patients or their families get to decide if they want to continue receiving life-sustaining care or not. Not these orgs. Not a doctor. Not a hospital. We can protect a doctor’s conscience without killing the patient. Let me repeat – read it slowly – we can protect a doctor’s conscience without killing the patient. To each of these organizations: These bills would do that. And, yet, they oppose them. So that’s not really the issue, is it? 
Just today I asked my readers to pray for these organizations (I know, it was subtle, but that was aimed at these very organizations, politicians, advocacy groups, and all the others who support killing off the ill and disabled). I’m asking them to continue that. But I’m asking them to expose these organizations for the charlatans they are on this issue. I’m asking them to oppose these organizations  and fight for the lives they’d happily see ended against their will and prematurely. I’m asking legislators to do what is right and pro-life and life-affirming. I’m asking them to relegate every organization and each individual within these organizations who signed onto this letter to irrelevance and obscurity because they are all dangerous to Texans. There is no candy-coating it, there is no justification for it: they promote death. 
Readers, lives are on the line and it’s time we all do what we can to save them. Don’t fall for people’s self-declared misleading titles or their positions. By their fruits you will know them. And some of them yield bitter, sour fruits of death and destruction. 
I ask you to contact your State Senator and Representative and ask them to support these bills. You can easily use this form for SB 2089 (its House companion is HB 3158), which will end the 10-day deadline where life-sustaining care is withdrawn from a patient against his will in order to hasten his death prematurely and allow them time to be transferred. Contact your State Senator about SB 2129 and tell them you support amending the Texas Advance Directives Act to include due process for patients. 
Thanks for reading! 

Update on SB 1033 – PASSED Out of Senate HHS Committee! Posted: 30 Apr 2019 03:11 PM PDTI’m a little late in getting this post out there as this news broke during Orthodox Holy Week and I was otherwise occupied, but I didn’t want this news to pass without blogging about it as well. The PreBorn Non-Discrimination Act (“PreNDA”), SB 1033, passed out of the Senate Health & Human Services Committee last week, on April 23, 2019, by a vote of 6-3. 




This is great news! This bill needs a full floor vote, but there is movement, thanks be to God! 
Also, a hearing was held on its companion bill, HB 2434, on April 17, 2019, before the House HHS Committee. I watched part of that testimony which started very late in the evening and went until the wee hours of the morning of April 18. There were vastly more in favor of it than against it. It has not been voted on there as yet.
One of my favorite testimonies came from this little boy who is pictured with Speaker Bonnen:





Should he not have been born? It’s just unfathomable to me that anyone who calls themselves pro-life would support this sort of discriminatory abortion. All human life has dignity and value and is worthy of protection and support.
Of course, there were testimonies of families pressured to abort after a diagnosis and testimonies of those who were given an inaccurate diagnoses and pressured to abort. It’s utterly diabolical. 


I’ve read of such incidents the whole time I’ve been in the pro-life movement. But it is quite another matter to watch people give their testimonies in a hearing and under oath. If that doesn’t move you, I don’t know what else will. What if they had succumbed to this pressure? And, why are doctors pressuring them to choose death anyway? So much for pro-choice, which has always been a lie anyway. 
This is clearly about eugenics. “Cleansing” society of the least among us – those determined to have less value and be useless. Margaret Sanger’s philosophy. It’s sick. It’s wrong. It’s Naziism in it’s truest form. And it is everywhere. Iceland claims to have “eradicated” Down Syndrome. How? Genocide. 100% abortion rate for those pregnancies with that diagnosis. Very progressive, no? Note that America is quickly trying to catch up with places like Iceland. We should have no part of it and it and similar diagnoses certainly should not form the basis for exceptions to otherwise pro-life legislation, which is what we have had thus far even in Texas.  
I salute all those who are working on this legislation for seeing the value of all life and working to protect it – and for their consistent life ethic that is so often absent among groups I have come to call faux life groups. We must be consistent or we lose the argument by default and simple logic. 
I’ll let you know more when I do.
Thanks for reading! 


Update on SB 2089 – PASSED out of the Senate HHS Committee!Posted: 30 Apr 2019 02:40 PM PDTHere’s a quick post to let you know that SB 2089 – the bill to amend the Texas Advance Directives Act to take away the 10-day deadline to find a new facility for your loved one once the doctor and hospital decide they will withdraw life-sustaining care involuntarily in order to hasten death – has passed out of the Senate Health & Human Services Committee by a vote of 5-2. 
Here are the tweets and news by Texas Right to Life with the great news!






If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, I discussed this bill and the testimony about it herehere, and here, as well as SB 2129 which is another very good bill that would fix TADA entirely.  
Now, it still needs to get a floor vote so that the entire Senate can take it up and pass it. And, the House will need to do it’s part, but there is finally movement on this priority bill! While SB 2129 would fix the entire statute, SB 2089 takes out the most egregious part of it – the literal deadline. Again, I cannot tell you how exciting this is! 
Big thanks to Texas Right to Life, Senator Bryan Hughes who authored it, Chairwoman Kolkhorst for scheduling the testimony and vote, all those who testified for it, especially those who came from far away, and, of course, those who voted for it. 
Shame on those who testified against it, voted against it, or otherwise refused to support it. In the end, I have to believe that the interest of protecting all life will win out. It may take time (TADA has been the law since 1999) and lives have been and will continue to be lost in the interim – and that is, in part, on the consciences of those who work so diligently against these efforts (one or more of whom are subscribers to this blog), may God have mercy on them – but I believe that society will not stand for this level of disregard for patient autonomy and life.
I ask that you pray daily for the success of efforts to protect all life and the conversion of those who oppose such efforts. Time is running short in the Texas legislative session. Less than a month exists and many other issues have not been resolved in this….difficult session. Pray also for the protection of those working so hard for these efforts. Prayer is, after all, the most important and effective thing. Orthodoxy teaches very strongly that we are to love our neighbors and everyone is our neighbor. One thing that is required by this is that we must always pray for our enemies, those that harm us and others, those that seek to harm us and others, etc. – even if you have to start out doing so through gritted teeth. Do it. 
I’ll let you know more when I do.Thanks for reading! 

About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
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