Saturday, April 29, 2006
Good News for both Clark and Vo  

There is an update on the two women Andrea Clark and Lang Yen Thi Vo who have been facing the prospect of dying in hospitals because the hospitals refused to provide them the care which they need. In both hospitals, under a Texas futile care law, the decision has been made to terminate the necessary care that each woman needs. The law provides for 10 days before either the patient is removed or the hospital stops the care which they consider to be futile. Neither woman is terminally ill, but under the provisions of the law, the hospitals have determined that the care the women receive is only prolonging their dying. In the case of Andrea Clark, 54, who has suffered from bleeding in her head following a January surgery on her heart, the St. Luke's Hospital in Houston, TX had determined that April 30th would be the last day that Ms. Clark would receive dialysis and respirator care. For Ms. Vo, 63, who has suffered a number of strokes, the North Austin Medical Center hospital in Austin, TX was prepared to stop life support tomorrow.

After negotiations between the family and the St. Luke's hospital, Andrea Clark will be transported from to a facility in Illinois. The facility in Illinois has agreed to continue Clark's care. Naturally, the family is disappointed in being forced to have Ms. Clark transported to a facility which is so far from Texas. However, given the inhuman futile care law in Texas, Ms. Clark and the family might be very grateful to be outside of Texas.

In Ms. Vo's case, the family has been able, through a court action, to extend the ten day deadline that is provided by law. The hospital has agreed to extend the deadline until June 3. The extra time is only given to allow the family to find another facility which would provide Ms. Vo the care which she needs.

We can thank God for this good news for both of these women. It comes in the face of what is really quite an unbelievable occasion. In both cases, the hospitals are not refusing to provide treatment which had not yet been given. Instead, they are deciding to stop providing treatment which has already been given and proven effective. Members of both families want to see that their loved one continues to receive care, and in the case of Ms. Clark, she has been able to express her wishes to live. Also, in Ms. Clark's case, she has private insurance which is paying for her care. (I am not certain of Ms. Vo's insurance situation.) All of this has not seemed to matter to the hospitals who have been quick to use the Texas futile care law to demand that the patients be removed or left to die within 10 days of the hospitals' decisions. Ms. Vo has correctly received an extension because it is simply an absurd request to give only 10 days to transport someone to another facility. And, given the hospital climate in Texas based on this law, it almost forces the patient to leave the state. I pray that she too is sent to a facility that will give her the care which she needs.


Posted by David at 12:09 AM  |  Comments (0)  | Link


Post a Comment