Local man fights against Texas law to keep wife alive

HOUSTON – A woman recovering from a stroke at a local hospital has less than one week to be transferred to a new facility or faces death.

Carolyn Jones, 61, is conscious, although intubation prevents her from communicating. Jones is on dialysis and uses a ventilator to help her breathe.

November 2018

Her husband, Donald, serves as her primary caregiver, tending to her bedside at Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital, where she’s been a patient since November 2018.

2017

Her struggles, however, stretch one year prior: Jones has lived in health care facilities since she suffered a stroke in 2017. While her family said she has shown signs of improvement, Jones’ life is scheduled to end May 13.

It’s a decision made by her doctors, as well as the hospital’s medical ethics committee – and it’s legal under Texas law.

At issue is a portion of the Texas Advance Directives Act, which outlines certain provisions allowing a health care facility to discontinue “life-sustaining treatment,” thus ending a patient’s life. The statute calls for a 10-day written notice of the decision if doctors providing life-sustaining treatment deem it futile – and upon review by the medical ethics committee, the opinion is upheld.


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