Texas Bishops Yawn as Hospitals Forcibly Euthanize Another Patient Who Wants to Live

The Martyrdom of Saint Stephen - Juan de Juanes
The Martyrdom of Stephen – Juan de Juanes

“And Saul was consenting to his death” (Acts 8:1)

(Once again, a woman who wants to live is being forcibly euthanized by Texas hospitals, contrary to her family’s wishes. Carolyn Jones’ family has found three facilities which would continue to give her care, but Texas has a hideous rule: if a hospital gives a patient 10 days notice that they are going to terminate care, they can kill them whatever the patient or family thinks – and even if a new care facility has agreed to take the patient but the transfer has not been completed. Even more hideously, the ironically named Texas Alliance for Life (TAL) supports this rule. Most hideously of all, the Texas Conference of Catholic Bishops (TCCB) supports it, too. I have thought for some time that, ironically, the Texas Bishops, as a group, are the most faithless in the country. I have sometimes been comforted by Tyler Bishop Joseph Strickland’s plain speech on the scandals rocking the Church. Yet the scandals of the Vatican and of the upper levels of the hierarchy in America are something he has limited influence over. He could have great influence in stopping this law or, at least, getting the Bishops to stop standing by, like Saul, consenting to innocent death. Try as I might, though, I can find no bold public statement from him – or any other Texas Bishop, save Corpus Christi Bishop Emeritus Rene Gracida, speaking out against the law or the TCCB’s hideous defiance of Catholic Doctrine in supporting it. The biggest organization to support Jones and others is Texas Right to Life (TRTL). I am awfully glad that someone is doing the work that Bishops in Texas refuse to do. (disclosure – I am an intermittent consultant to TRTL)

Yesterday, Memorial Herman Southwest Hospital in Houston pulled Carolyn Jones off of her ventilator, refusing to allow arrangements that have already been made to transfer her to another hospital (which is willing to give her care) to interfere with their forced euthanasia. At this writing, she has refused to die like a good, little victim, so the hospital vows to refuse her dialysis today. Rumors that they are in search of a heavy pillow for tomorrow in case today’s outrage does not work cannot be confirmed.

For those of you who count on the tender mercies of the state to defend your most basic rights, know that this is all legal according to Texas Law. For those of you who think the Church will reliably stand with the vulnerable and defenseless, again, the TCCB supports this pro-forced euthanasia law. Our Lord commands us to care for the sick. I don’t think that command means to forcibly euthanize them, even passively by withdrawing basic care, when they have become too much of a bother. There are some who, in seeking to preserve influence in this world, are excommunicating themselves from the Church Triumphant, however approving authorities of the Church Militant might look on. Below, I have reprinted this emergency piece by Kassi Marks, a Texas lawyer who has fought this atrocity with vigor and fortitude.

Bottom line, I love Texas. But try not to get sick there, for if a hospital decides it is time for you to die, your odds of survival are much worse than if you were on death row in prison.

(Update – The Texas Senate has today (May 14) voted 22-9 to change the time allotted for transfer to 45 days. The bill now goes to the Texas House, which has two more weeks to pass the bill. If they do, once it is signed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, it would become law. This is a great incremental leap forward. Sadly, it comes too late to help Carolyn Jones, but it would save a lot of other people from being involuntarily euthanized by those who are supposed to care for them.-CJ)

By Kassi Marks

Many of us have talked and written about Mrs. Jones, the conscious woman who Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston decided they just did not want to treat anymore; not that her care was ineffective or harming her more than benefitting her. Well, today is the 10th day and as they said they would, they withdrew her ventilator. Not only that, if she is not dead by tomorrow, they will withdraw her dialysis.

Emily Kebodeaux Cook, of Texas Right to Life, has been trying to help the family. Unfortunately, Mrs. Jones could not be transferred in time and there were financial hurdles. The new news outlet, The Texan, covered the story again today in more detail.

Just a bit ago, Emily posted this update:

This would not be legal if SB 2089 was passed. It will not save Mrs. Jones, but it could stop this in the future. There is very little time left in this session. I’ve heard that today might be the last day the Senate can vote on the bill, but I’ve also seen indications that we might have another day or two, but I’d not count on that. I do know that time is of the essence.

If the Senate does not pass it immediately, then the House cannot take it up. SB 2089 will die. Opponents are wanting this bill as dead as Mrs. Jones is going to be when Memorial Hermann is finished withdrawing her life-sustaining treatment. This must end. This session.

I also know that very few people actually call their Congressmen to voice their opinions about things. So when people do, they assume that there are even more of that viewpoint. The net result is that your one call or email count vastly more than your one vote come election time.

The phones and inboxes of our Texas Senators need to be flooded with calls and emails right this second. You can send an email easily using this form and it will go to your proper senator.

The forces that oppose SB 2089 are in full swing and, frankly, more disgusting than ever in their support of involuntary passive euthanasia. They are claiming that patients will actually lose rights under SB 2089.

What rights would those be that are lost by SB 2089 which just patients them more than 10 days to find a facility and requires treatment until they can be transferred? That is the only interpretation of this that makes sense – if you have to oppose SB 2089 to “protect patient” rights – then logically, they are claiming rights are lost. That is not true. That is a lie.

Patients have no due process rights now under current law! I’ve talked about this many times.

Some are claiming that this bill will harm patients at the end of life:

I ask that you do the opposite of what TAL says – that you to call Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick at that number and tell him to do the pro-life thing, stop euthanasia, and SUPPORT SB 2089.

The Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops are claiming:

Remember, these are patients who want their care continued, such as Chris Dunn and Mrs. Jones. Some are unable to speak for themselves but their families are in the best position to know what they would want. (TAL is run by a Catholic and the TCCB and Catholic Health Association (another opponent of SB 2089 as I’ve written before) are presumably Catholic or run by or advised by Catholics. Read up on the Principle of Subsidiarity. I’ve written about it here, here, and here.) Remember, Sec. 166.046 overrides your Advance Directive and any Medical Power of Attorney you may have given someone. They don’t have to listen to you. If you’re in an 046 situation, they are not intending to or you’d not be in this quagmire. There is no one better able to decide what is in your best interest and what you would want than your family. And, no, contrary to what many of these opponents to SB 2089/proponents of the current involuntary passive euthanasia law say, these patients are not all in the situation where the patient is being harmed by the continued care. I discussed those scenarios before (see the footnote and the link in the footnote). That’s not what we’re talking about. But in the majority of these cases, the care is not being withdrawn because it is not working or harmful, but because it is working and those in authority don’t think the life is worth living; they’ve made a quality of life determination for you or your loved one. That’s not their job.

Here’s one more point I’m not sure I’ve made on this blog but I had this discussion on Facebook with the below-mentioned particularly vocal proponent of current law and a doctor’s right to decide whether you live or die and when. She made the same claim that the TCCB is – that the care will go on indefinitely. That’s just not true as a matter of logic and science…and common sense. What I said then was:

Sometimes transfer takes time and is difficult. Many of these patients are going to die with their life-sustaining treatment in place as their underlying conditions overtake them. The families understand that and just don’t want the deaths hastened by imposing involuntary passive euthanasia on them. Thus, the care is not indefinite. Many will eventually be transferred especially if obstacles are cleared. Some will actually recover to a point where it’s not needed.

Currently, this very reasonable bill is trying to be killed by those who simply think they should decide when you live or die. They support euthanasia and have supported existing law in legal briefs before court. Don’t buy what they say now.

One particularly vocal involuntary passive euthanasia activist who claims the mantle of pro-life asserts that getting two days’ notice, being able to attend the hearing, and being about “to go to court” are rights under current law. That there are a few things provided in the procedure do not make them due process rights. A family gets to sit there and be told what’s going to happen to their loved one against their will that ultimately is the withdrawal of their life-sustaining care which will thereby hasten their death. Those aren’t rights. That is certainly not due process which requires sufficient notice, the right tot be heard (attending is not being heard), the right to representation (I know for a fact that attorneys and patient advocates have been prevented from attending medical ethics hearings), the right to a tribunal free of conflicts of interest (that cannot occur as a matter of fact when all the board members are employees of the hospital or otherwise connected with it), the right to appeal (the right to go to court is to beg for a few more days within that limited 10 days requiring evidence you may not yet have; that’s not really going to court to address the merits and receive a review of what happened), etc. Due process is a specifically defined term under the law as I mentioned in the post linked above.

This is serious. Every one of us will end up in the hospital one day or have a loved one there with some serious illness or injury. How can anyone not relate to this and not want someone with this mentality calling the shots about pulling their plugs? I just still can’t understand it.

Remember, all of the alleged concerns of the opponents of SB 2089 and those who justify TADA – including the conscience rights for doctors – can be addressed in ways other than killing the patient that someone no longer wants to treat. They refuse to see this. They are dangerous. This law is dangerous. It is not pro-life, it is euthanasia in Texas. And once euthanasia begins, it expands. Remember what I talked about last time.

There is simply no way to justify this or characterize it as anything other than involuntary passive euthanasia.

Please pray for the Jones Family. Pray for Texas Right to Life and everyone there working to get SB 2089 passed, including its author Sen. Bryan Hughes. Please pray that those who oppose SB 2089, support TADA, and thereby support involuntary passive euthanasia are converted. Pray for the Senate including your Senator by name, even if you think they will not pass this. Pray anyway. Pray for Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick that he will assert his influence as the leader of the Senate to move this legislation. Pray for its passage. Pray for the House to take it up and pass it. Pray for Gov. Abbott to sign it into law. Pray for the Culture of Life and its success. Pray that the Culture of Death be beaten back and defeated. Pray without ceasing.

Thanks for reading!


P.S. Incidentally, at least one well-positioned Catholic has taken to criticizing me for calling out the TCCB now that I’m not a Catholic anymore. (I’ve chosen not to post the screenshots here.) As you know, I publicly announced my conversion to Russian Orthodoxy in December. What I did not write then was that I did so in part because I anticipated just such a “response” to my advocacy. In fact, this person at least at one point was a board member of the organization I expected such an “attack” to come from. The response was a poor attempt at an ad hominem (a logical fallacy) and an example of the error of clericalism and the bandwagon fallacy, which, as you know, I’ve written about before in this context.

To state the obvious: I do not have to be a Catholic to call out Catholic clerics for creating yet another scandal for faithful Catholics to endure as they promote euthanasia. (I have many Catholic friends. Not a single one of them supports TADA or the Bishops on this. A number of them aren’t certain they will remain Catholic as they’ve had more than anyone should have to endure of scandals, including this one. They do not like this either. They are just not all called to say so publicly. But the idea that everyone does as the Bishops say on this matter is completely incorrect. The Catholics I know are fully aware of their moral obligation to understand what the RCC teaches and apply it correctly to each context. They have done the proper analysis and reached the same conclusion I did – SIX YEARS AGO – when I was still a Catholic who thought that the Bishops might right the ship on this (among other things).)

To put it another way: Do we have to be abortionists to oppose abortion and call out other abortion proponents and abortionists? Do you see how illogical this is?

A Christian or pro-life justification for TADA cannot be found. (And, by the way, none was offered here, except that the Bishops are right.) We simply don’t involuntarily passively euthanize people. We just don’t. We don’t treat humans like animals. It’s dehumanizing. It’s immoral. It’s unethical. It’s unconstitutional. And, as I said in December, I’ll call out any person or group that does this. My religion has nothing to do with it except that it has taught me right from wrong and a consistent life ethic that I have chosen to take into the Public Square. But I know others who argue from a secular position, as I do from time to time as well, and we are just as correct from that standpoint. All life has value. All life should be protected.

We err, if we are to err at all, on the side of life. Always.


57 thoughts on “Texas Bishops Yawn as Hospitals Forcibly Euthanize Another Patient Who Wants to Live

    1. Thank you! Please do keep praying. The session is not over yet and SB 2089 would stop this in the future. It’s too late for this bill to help Mrs. Jones (who is still alive as I write this despite the lack of proper care), but her family wants this bill passed in her honor to prevent this from happening to others. The good people at TRTL are fighting a valiant battle against other forces that are hell bent on euthanizing patients whenever they decide for you that your life is not worth living. This has to be stopped.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. Kassi, it’s just so sickening. As I counted, there are 31 Catholic Bishops in Texas and only the Emeritus Bishop Gracida is standing for LIFE. What have we become? And I imagine other Christian faith leaders are for this heinous crime as well? When the Storm rages at its greatest force, we must tell it true: we.did.it.to.ourselves. Without an effusion of purifying grace we would completely destroy ourselves. Maranatha!

        Liked by 8 people

        1. Bishop Gracida has been much maligned by his bother bishops. He began working on this in 1998 – meaning working on their view of this type of euthanasia. Of course, there have been many changes in the roster of bishops in Texas in those years. But to my knowledge, none of them have supported him or opposed this law. One local blogger reached out to Bishops Strickland, Burns, and Olson over SB 2089 and was ignored. Par for the course.

          Liked by 4 people

        2. Thank you for raising your voice, Kassi, and speaking out to oppose that which we all know, as Christians, is a disgraceful crime. I’m going to add your name, Kassi, to my personal list of heroes (I might add, that it’s a short list).

          This single act, on its own, the attempt to murder Carolyn Jones, an older woman who is ill and unable to effectively resist on her own, is abominable enough on its own. However, the precedent it may set within our society is horrific to contemplate. In relation to the importance of your stand, and, in contrast, to those who either stay silent or support such an action, Jesus taught us the following;

          “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.

          “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5

          Heavenly Father, I pray for all of us who are a part of this fellowship that supports and augments Charlie’s mission, that we might ask for and have our hearts filled with the Holy Spirit. That we might allow the Holy Spirit, residing within our innermost being, to guide each of us personally into the works which God has prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. In the precious name of Jesus.


          Liked by 4 people

          1. Oh, Thanks be to God, Dr. Dave, for the wonderful community that has risen up here. I love that there are many Protestant and Orthodox folks here – and we never seem to get into those destructive, triumphalist arguments that so mar so many sites. We are all fellow Christians doing the best we can and trying to live our Lord’s commands in real time. The fellowship here is amazing!

            Liked by 7 people

            1. And, Charlie, exactly regarding triumphalism. I have noticed that here and been pleasantly surprised. My husband and I have discussed that attitude many times as we have converted and faced backlash for it. (There are still people who think we’re going to hell because we’re Orthodox now.) But we had a period of time as Catholics when we had that attitude. We are ashamed of that now and we tried to repent of it because it was destructive to us and those we interacted with (of all religions). We were humbled long before our conversion and we were exceedingly humbled in the year or so prior in many ways. We do not feel that way about our conversion now. The purpose was very different and we actually refuse to get into theological debates about anything. The comparisons are inevitable at times, however, when we get asked about the difference between this and that. But in reflecting on this, I hope nothing I say has even a whiff of that and if so or if someone ever takes it that say, I do apologize and beg forgiveness, because there is no such intention in anything I say (including in my comments about the TCCB backing out of politics). I try so hard to word things carefully. But tone can be hard to get across the way you intend sometimes in these situations.

              Liked by 4 people

              1. I was told long ago (by my visitors) that in this great crisis, all faithful Christians and Jews of any stripe are to be treated as full and equal partners in the work before us – there are no junior partners here…and that we are to treat all people of good will, regardless of their faith or lack thereof, as true neighbors. If we do this well, God, Himself, will see to the unity after the Storm has passed. One of my deepest consolations is that we live that well here.

                Liked by 4 people

          2. That’s very kind. Thank you. Texas Right to Life has helped about 400 families caught in this quagmire. They just don’t all get the publicity that Mrs. Jones has. On my blog I covered a case that TRTL helped – an infant – who was killed by this law about the same time Alfie Evans was. It did not get the same press. And, he was not the first infant or child. It’s just so awful.

            I’m sorry to say that many think this is just fine. The comments on some posts and tweets are telling. Society is in a mess as we all know. But we keep pushing against it.

            Thanks again!

            Liked by 4 people

    2. Praying for Carolyn Jones, her family, and all others listed in this post. It sounds like the law uses language that is deliberately ambiguous and misleading. It sounds pro-life and pro-patient, but it isn’t. When we change the meaning of words, there are incredible implications. Thank you Charlie and Kassi Marks for letting us know about this. Holy Spirit, please shine your light into the minds and hearts into all involved in this situation and law in Texas, especially our ecclesial leaders.

      Liked by 8 people

    1. Kassi,

      Where do the Orthodox Bishops in Texas stand on SB 2089? I cannot find anything from Bishop Alexander of the OCA.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have been asked that question elsewhere. Let me try to answer this and not go out of my depth; which right now it’s easy for me to do on such matters. I’m very new here and don’t want to speak out of turn. But to answer you directly, I’m not aware of any statement on SB 2089 from an Orthodox Bishop and there are reasons for that that have to do with just how the Orthodox Church operates and sees its role in the world differently than the RCC.

        First, I’m a Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia Orthodox Christian (ROCOR), not OCA. We are smaller. Our Archbishop Peter is in Chicago and our diocese is about 1/4-1/3 of the U.S. I doubt the Texas legislature registers on his radar in this way. I’d venture to say that the same is true of the OCA Bishop. (Orthodox dioceses are very large geographically because we are very small in population.)

        The Orthodox Church as a whole, in my experience, is not extremely active politically like the Catholics; at least not in America. (Of course, that is probably quite different in Russia, the Ukraine, etc.; and don’t get me started on Bartholomew and Biden and the schism with the Greeks….) Since I’ve been here, I have not seen them put out statements on many political things nationally, much less at a state level.

        I did a little research and maybe this will help in understanding why. An article on a 2016 clergy retreat reported this:

        “As His Eminence Archbishop Peter reiterated by instructional letter to the assembled clergy: ‘Our clergymen and monastics are not to engage in political speech. … [P]olitical speech is inappropriate for a clergyman/monastic. Apostle Paul instructed us that we should pray for our civil authorities and armed forces, as we do at each of our Divine Services, and trust that the Lord will guide them in their duties.’ While the Church thus separates itself from politics, it is not beholden to or fearful of the political process, and it continues to support and affirm the traditional moral values of the Faith which endure for all ages and are not effected or overturned by political parties and platforms, or by popular electoral outcomes.” https://www.chicagodiocese.org/news_161015_1.html

        That said, in 2013, the Diocese did issue a statement upon SCOTUS ruling gay marriage was kosher. https://www.chicagodiocese.org/news_130329_1.html?mobile=0

        Note this warning to lay persons: “If an Orthodox Christian chooses to engage in public political discourse this should be done with moderation and with a firm intention and watchfulness not to fall into extremism. Extremism is not conducive to softening hearts or bringing others to the faith. Laymen who choose to engage in political speech should not state that they speak on behalf of the Church. Strictly speaking such an authoritative statement can be made only by a bishop or with a bishop’s specific blessing.”

        Let me state for the record, I’m not speaking on behalf of the Russian Orthodox or Eastern Orthodox Church and I do not have Archbishop Peter’s blessing here. Also, I probably need to go to Confession. 😉 (The Orthodox have strict teachings on humility and how you interact with others with great deference. That’s a matter that has filled up many, many books.)

        Orthodox are a tiny fraction of Christians in the U.S.; ROCOR Orthodox even smaller. There is little influence that I see on the part of the hierarchy in terms of politics (how many even know what the Orthodox Church is?) and certainly none in Texas (can you imagine the response Texas legislators would have to a Russian Orthodox Archbishop from Chicago telling them what to do?). But I also don’t see that there is the desire to have it as you see above. The focus is much more on the spiritual development of people. I could go on but that’s beyond the scope of the question.

        In my experience as a former Catholic and having seen this operate in Texas (and nationally, but more in Texas), I now believe this is the better course. The USCCB as well as TCCB are not stalwarts in promoting authentic Catholic doctrine and – in fact – they have undermined it legislatively which affects everyone. The TCCB and others testify constantly about its “stakeholder” role in getting TADA passed (the Texas Advance Directives Act in which you find the 10-day rule and the procedure for involuntary passive euthanasia) in 1999 and they use that as an intro. and justification for opposing any changes to it. They misdirect well-meaning pro-life Catholics into promoting things that are anything but pro-life or Catholic. It would be best if they’d step aside and said nothing. Becoming lobbyists may very well have opened them up to all sorts of problems; i.e., the same temptations, I suspect, that anyone else in a Capitol faces. Who is their spiritual director? Who keeps them on the straight and narrow?

        Trust me when I tell you, they are (at least now and for the last few decades; we must pray) impervious to fraternal correction (to the limited extent that exists in Texas – that would be Bishop Gracida only) or lay correction in the spirit of St. John Henry Newman or St. Robert Bellarmine. Lay Catholics are stymied in what they can do but they are represented as a homogenous group to politicians as being supportive of and in agreement with all that the USCCB or TCCB are promoting. That is far from the truth. Then when lay Catholics try to respond to their legislators or even fellow Catholics that a contrary position is actually the right one, they are knocked down by responses such as “Who are you to contradict the Bishops?” or, my favorite, “The Bishops said…therefore it is right.” How does the ordinary lay Catholic combat that? Yes, you can all say the truth and tell your elected officials the Bishops are wrong, but yesterday, a Catholic Senator Lucio carried the water for the TCCB on SB 2089. The TCCB came up numerous times even among those who are not Catholic (at least not that I know of). They still have influence there. They make our jobs harder. It would be best if they said nothing and focused on their clerical roles within the RCC. (I mean, there are A LOT of Catholics in Texas; is there not enough to do?)

        And I now see a great danger in mixing secular politics (and lobbying) with the internal workings of a religion for other reasons. Frankly, it did not do a lot for me spiritually, but that is probably for another blog post on my personal blog (Kassiblog, too!) for another time (or not).

        But the fact remains, you all are Catholics and the RCC *IS* doing this – the bishops, whether USCCB or TCCB or whatever state Bishops org. is in your state – ARE politically active. And, a number of them are pushing policies that are dangerous for society, not just contrary to RCC teaching. So you HAVE TO keep fighting back. You HAVE TO be the counter voice and help your fellow lay Catholics – and clergy if you can – see the truth. Maybe then things will change or at least you can mitigate the damage.

        I do so now simply as a pro-lifer and treat the TCCB as any other org. that should know better or otherwise advocates for policies that are dangerous. But when you are a Catholic, the stakes are even higher and your job both harder and more important. (And it can affect your spirituality more – beware of falling into despair and despondency – guard yourselves and keep the balance tipped far more toward the spiritual than the political.)

        Finally, it may interest you to know as well that the leading U.S. bioethicist on the right (meaning, the correct and moral) side of the euthanasia debate, Wesley J. Smith, is an OCA Orthodox Christian, a Deacon. https://www.nationalreview.com/author/wesley-j-smith/

        He was the invited expert to testify on behalf of SB 2089 when it was presented before the Senate Health & Human Services Committee. I have linked his testimony in one of my posts on my blog.

        So that’s my VERY long answer that probably said WAY TOO much, but I think a context is necessary given the differences in the churches. I do hope it helped.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Dear Kassi,

    God bless you! Horrified and sickened in Texas. 😦 Will go pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet for Mrs. Jones, her family, TAL, Lt. Patrick, Gov. Abbott, and the TCCB. Thank you TRTL, the crucified organization that is the only trustworthy Texas Life organization. Thank you , Kassi. Going to pray now and also for you to continue your strength in this incredible battle. Dear Mrs. Jones – I am so sorry. Blessings and hugs, Kassi

    Liked by 9 people

    1. Thank you. This is such a beautiful community. I have actually added an intention to my prayer list for “Charlie Johnston’s Community” – that’s YOU ALL! 🙂

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Thank you, Kassi, for your prayers for all of us. I certain that I can speak for everyone here when I say that we’re glad you’re part of the ASOH family! 🙂

        Liked by 5 people

  2. Kassi, I am praying for you and for your intentions. God have mercy on Mrs. Jones and all those Texans who are in danger because of the current law and because of the bishops and TAL’s opposition to SB 2089. I pray that the Texas Bishops and TAL, and all who support the murder of people like Mrs. Jones, repent of this sin; otherwise, there is a special and particularly horrific part of hell awaiting them. Mercy, Lord.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Thank you. Let us all continue to pray for all involved. I do not pray as often or as fervently as I should. And the Usual Suspects are a particular trial (in Orthodoxy, we call such things “temptations”) to me. Conversion of all would be best, but until then, we have to protect the least among us and work toward that.

      Liked by 4 people

  3. SB 2089 – as amended to 45 days – just passed the Senate. It still has to get through the House in very limited time. I will be posting update. Thank you all for your prayers. I am literally crying with both joy over this huge progress, but sadness for Mrs. Jones.

    Liked by 8 people

  4. God bless you, Kassi. Thank you Charlie for introducing her to us. I am simply horrified in my state of Texas. Praying for Lt. Patrick, Gov Abbot, all the Texas Life organizations that are not fully for life, and for TRTL – such gratitude for their being fully prolife. Prayers for the bishops. They have the power to speak truth- May they soon. Prayers for dear Mrs. Jones and her family. That dear woman- yes your life is worthwhile. We want you alive – you are special and precious and the world needs you!

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Congratulations, Kassi! If the Texas House passes it in the next couple of weeks, then it will go to Gov. Greg Abbott for signature and will become law. It is too late for Mrs. Jones, but it would undoubtedly spare a lot of others involuntary euthanasia in the future. This is a great incremental leap forward. I thank you for your hard, passionate work for the last six years on this. I appreciate you taking time to update me on the phone about this earlier today. I just got off the phone with TRTL Pres. Jim Graham. Their lobbying work, while being viciously attacked, was decisive, I think. May all be sustained who are doing the work of God in real time right before our eyes!

      Liked by 8 people

      1. But I have UPDATES – including for Mrs. Jones. All may not be lost just yet even for her. https://kassiblog.blogspot.com/2019/05/sb-2089-as-amended-passes-senate.html

        And, thank you for your unfailing kindness and support, esp. to TRTL. They have really been through it – as they are in every session. Politics is always messy. But this is a special messy.

        Thank you for your kindness to me, but I am largely a keyboard warrior in this. That is my season in life. But I firmly believe that we are all required – morally obligated – to do everything we can in this fight against the encroachment of the Culture of Death. It is insidious and is pushing its way into places many think are immune. No one and nothing is immune from evil except our Lord and Our Lady. The more immune one thinks they are, the bigger target they become.

        Please continue your prayers. I have no doubt they played a large role in today’s victory. We won a battle today. But the war rages one. Wars are won one battle at a time.

        Liked by 5 people

        1. I’ve updated that post once again with a link to Texas Right to Life’s fundraiser to help cover the costs of Mrs. Jones’ transfer. Please give if you can. Time is short. She did not receive her dialysis today as she should have. She continues to breathe on her own some 30 odd hours after it was removed in an effort to hasten her death. Thank you!

          Liked by 4 people

  5. Thank you, God, for this grace of passage of the bill in the TX Senate, and we also pray for the House to pass this bill, and for the Governor to sign it into law.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. My dad died in a hospital. In the end, he didn’t die soon enough. He was not on life support so, against everyone’s wishes, the hospital gave him a nudge. All of his children still consider his death to be murder, even though he probably only had hours left (a day at most, I think.) They gave him until noon to die, and after that, they made arrangements to make sure he died. Ironic because it was Good Friday that year. He was not even suffering. His death would’ve been peaceful. I do not understand what the rush was.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. That enrages me so much. I’m very sorry that you and your father and family went through that. The time leading up to death is very valuable spiritually. I believe so even for those we think of as “unconscious.” The truth is, we do not know what is going on inside that we cannot see or discern. That process is not respected. People are not treated as humans with souls, but as products or something concrete that when it cannot be used or has fulfilled its usefulness must be discarded. It’s immoral in ways that I think are hard to explain, even more so to non- or nominal believers.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. Thank you so much, Kassi Marks. It helps a lot to not feel we are the only ones enraged. I agree with every single thing you said.

        Liked by 5 people

  7. Thank you so much for publicizing this case, Charlie. But for this article, I’d have no idea that murder by the State had been legalized in Texas. Health care rationing at its finest. The murder of babies, even after their birth, is now legal in New York, but it’s New York! Who would expect anything different from a State that elected AOC, Hillary Clinton and Andrew Cuomo?

    Western Civilization has lost its Judeo/Christian moral foundation over the last 50 years. Perhaps we had lost ours in America 110 years ago when the first eugenics-based Compulsory Sterilization laws were passed;

    “In 1907, Indiana passed the first eugenics-based compulsory sterilization law in the world. Thirty U.S. states would soon follow their lead. Although the law was overturned by the Indiana Supreme Court in 1921 the U.S. Supreme Court, in Buck v. Bell, upheld the constitutionality of the Virginia Sterilization Act of 1924, allowing for the compulsory sterilization of patients of state mental institutions in 1927.

    Some states sterilized “imbeciles” for much of the 20th century. Although compulsory sterilization is now considered an abuse of human rights, Buck v. Bell was never overturned, and Virginia did not repeal its sterilization law until 1974. The most significant era of eugenic sterilization was between 1907 and 1963, when over 64,000 individuals were forcibly sterilized under eugenic legislation in the United States.”


    Unfortunately, eugenics and forced sterilization has continued on long after 1963, even until today. By 1977, the total had increased to 80,000 victims. In some cases, doctors told mothers that their daughters needed shots, but they were actually sterilizing them.

    The above linked article should be mandatory reading for every US citizen, but I suspect that this history will never be taught in our schools. It appears that this is one lesson that we are never going to learn;

    “In a 1948 speech to the House of Commons, Winston Churchill said (paraphrased), “Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.” He was quoting the warning given in 1905 by George Santayana, the philosopher, who said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Dr. Dave, I live in Western New York and I can tell you that once you get out of the urban areas (at this point in time) the majority of the people do not vote Democratic. Cuomo, Clinton, AOC & others are elected purely by the large urban cities. In a state wide election if a politician can win New York City, they win the state/race. There was talk of splitting the state into two or three smaller states to combat that problem but I do not see that happening. You are absolutely correct that the history you mentioned would never be taught in schools as there are too many agendas and too much brainwashing they need to do. Other states with large urban areas are probably facing the same voting bloc problem that we have in New York.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Commiserations, CM Bookmark. I have some awareness of the political and cultural divisions within NY State since I lived and worked in the New York City area for almost 10 years, back in the 1970’s and 80’s. My wife was born and raised in Brooklyn, and we were married in a church on Long Island. As you say, it’s a scenario that exists in other states too. California, dominated by its large cities, nonetheless has a quite different flavour in the more rural areas and in the North. I’ve also heard from some residents of southern Illinois who would be quite delighted to excise Chicago from the State!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ha, Dr. Dave! When I was doing Illinois politics, I think I was about the only guy from the Chicago area who downstaters embraced as a homeboy. I think it might be because of my family’s roots from the deep south – culturally, I was a homeboy. We had a fellow who once ran for governor named Ron Gidwitz, a very wealthy man who turned the family business, Helene Curtis, into a Fortune 500 company. He is a very elegant man – now Ambassador to Belgium. Anyway, he was a moderate Republican – but a really great guy. He was the top money man in the state party…and had an affinity for a lot of conservatives because of their competence and honor. When he was running for governor, he would go to these downstate ham-and-bean suppers in his elegant suits. He was as awkward as a Mormon missionary at a biker rally. So I grabbed the guy who was the main mover in southern Illinois – a Deputy Governor everyone loved named Bob Winchester. I told him I wasn’t working with Ron, but that Ron was a very good guy – and would Bob see to it that all the folks downstate treated him right. Bob looked at me and frowned. “I don’t know, Charlie,” he said, “he’s a little too Chicago for folks down here.” I looked at him, grinned and said that was funny, because up in Chicago we all thought he was a little too New York for us. Bob busted out laughing and promised that he would see to it that the folks in Southern Illinois welcomed Ron and treated him warmly despite his funny ways. An acquaintance of mine, State Rep. Brad Halbrook is right now leading a charge to detach the rest of Illinois from Chicago. Most downstaters are absolutely fed up with Chicago leaching off them to prop up its political corruption.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Wow! Great stories, Charlie – let’s hope that God looks upon State Rep. Brad Halbrook’s proposals with favour. I looked over his State Rep page, and it sounds as if the left wants to change Illinois into another NY in regard to abortion all the way to actual birth. Plus I like his proposals to limit corruption over civil appointments.

            I’m sure that you know much more than I do about his issue, Charlie, but perhaps 20 years ago, I watched a National Geographic documentary about Bob Cooley in Chicago. He was an ex-policeman and attorney who was involved in the total mob domination of Chicago. In the late 1970’s or early 80’s, Bob decided to turn informer with the FBI, and he wore a wire (a fairly large tape recorder in those days) to hundreds of meetings involving the political, judicial, law enforcement appointments and general corruption within the city.

            For me, one of the most stunning discoveries portrayed on the show was how one single Chicago Aldermen, I think that his name may have been Pat Marcy, was in effective control of every judgeship, every elected official, all police appointments and every building that went up within Chicago! Essentially, nothing went on in the city without his approval. The FBI suspected that he was a “made man” in the Mob.

            After learning about this, the suspected corruption involved in electing JFK in 1960 became much clearer to me. Later, I wasn’t exactly surprised when Blagojevich asked for $500,000 for Barack Obama’s Senate seat. Here’s a 5 minute summary of the Bob Cooley documentary;


            Liked by 2 people

  8. “For those of you who count on the tender mercies of the state to defend your most basic rights, know that this is all legal according to Texas Law”
    I’m English, now living in France. My parents generation where very young children pre nhs and they, like many British people, practically worship it. When I doubt the nhs my father will say ‘you don’t know what it was like to wonder if you should go to the doctor because you can’t afford it.’
    Yet I’m the generation that’s seeing all governments with the power an increased welfare state gives abuse that power. We’re at a softball totalitarianism now. The welfare state has enabled the sexual revolution to become dominant because it allows the damage caused by it to be hidden and it’s propon have successfully made society, not individuals themselves, responsible for any negative outcome.
    Whereas welfare state could be seen originally as in line with Christian principles, the power it has given to lgbt, feminism etc has meant that Christianity and its principles will be over powered and demonised.
    I see this more and more because I’m younger and this persecution is more likely to happen to me. My mother, a devout Catholic, often mistakes Left policies for Christianity itself. But now it seems to be more of a false God, because she will ignore and diminish the evil in its name as a result of the good. This is what idolatry is. It’s the temptations of Jesus.
    She’s certainly not alone in making this spiritual mistake.
    The trouble with false God’s is that the worship of them always brings destruction. This, like Alfie Evans, is a perfect example.
    (I don’t mean to disrespect my parents- they’re wonderful. We’re all guilty of creating false idols one way or another).

    Liked by 9 people

  9. La Maison: a very heartfelt comment, and this struck me in particular: “My mother, a devout Catholic, often mistakes Left policies for Christianity itself.”

    That’s not so surprising, because in so many ways our Shepherds themselves are, to put it charitably, “confused” about this. To put it uncharitably: a good deal of them are just soft lefties – and some not-so-soft! Part of the aversion some of them had for John Paul II was on account of his perceived hard stance against socialism/communism, when all they wanted to do was make nicey-nicey with the Bolshies. He of course had spent a good part of his life under various totalitarianisms and was in no way blinkered as to the reality and to the false fronts they put up (“Maskirovka” in Russian), as opposed to so many of our spoiled, spineless crew with their faux-idealism who were taken in hook, line and sinker – if they weren’t actively co-operating, that is. That sort of thing was particularly prevalent in countries like Italy and France, where there were large and active Communist and hard-left parties. In other countries, which were sensible enough not to have actual communist parties, it was the “soft” socialists who seemed to be the caring ones, that it was fashionable to support because all the “right people” did. And so it goes on…

    I was struck by what your father said: “‘you don’t know what it was like to wonder if you should go to the doctor because you can’t afford it.’

    That was the very reason why, in Catholic countries like Ireland (where I am) most of the hospitals were actually founded and run by the Church, as charities, with the State only becoming very gradually involved after the War. It was not unusual to see nursing nuns and doctors in full (white) habit, although most of the staff were of course lay. But the Catholic and charitable ethos reigned. That situation pertained right up to the late 70s but since then the State role has become almost total, and most of those hospitals are now Catholic in name only. But quite a good standard of medical care was freely available, in relative terms, at a time when a National Health Service would not have been thought of.

    Lovely to see that you value your parents. Mine are long dead and I still miss them. God bless, J.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. One of the biggest flaws of Church leadership – and a betrayal of Christ – is their penchant for thinking that using government to force everyone to do what you think is best is what Christ commands. Of course, it seems so much easier than actually doing it yourself and respecting people’s free will by persuading them to join you. But the latter is what Christ actually commands. And when you give government the power to enforce its will on everyone, it always turns on people of faith. I think our modern generation of Church leaders are either deeply unaware of history or are VERY slow learners.

      Liked by 7 people

      1. Yes indeed, Charlie. They’ve abandoned the Catholic principle of subsidiarity, taking things from the lowest feasible level and letting them flourish upwards (as seeds), in favour of top-down Big Daddy State. And then they whinge, ineffectively, when Big Daddy comes around and demands, or imposes, his due. Chesterton would weep.

        Liked by 4 people

        1. Thank you! I have written about how this Texas law violates the Principle of Subsidiarity several times in trying to get the TCCB & other Catholics to see their error in supporting this.

          Liked by 1 person

  10. NEWS & MILINET: Articles for Christians – 15 May
    Alabama Senate Passes Bill Banning Abortion, Would Make Killing Unborn Babies a Felony

    Pope Francis: Human History Marked by ‘Mysterious Evil’

    Benedict’s Essay Is an Implicit Rebuke of Amoris Laetitia

    The Dubia Were Answered

    Homosexuals In the Seminaries. A Startling Survey In Brazil

    Susan from the Parish Council or James Martin, SJ?

    8 Questions Catholic Leaders Should Answer!

    What should my child know about his Catholic Faith

    Thomas More Law Center Asks Supreme Court To Decide
    How Far Schools Can Promote Islam And Disparage Christianity


    The Destination Must Direct the Way

    The Greater Mysteries in the Shadow of the Cross

    Sharpton Praises Pro-Abortion Women For Doing ‘the Actual Creating in Art and in Life’

    From above and within, how fire hit Notre Dame — the heart of Paris

    We saw helicopter shootings in Gwangju: US Baptist missionary

    EGYPT: Prosecution detains St. Mark Church’s guard for 4 days over murder charge

    ‘Women’s rights are under attack’: Nancy Pelosi leads backlash against ‘cruel’ Alabama abortion ban bill, as Alyssa Milano rails against the 25 men who voted in favor of the bill


    White House Criticizes Equality Act, but Stops Short of Veto Threat

    Kelsey Grammer Praises Trump: Washington ‘Clowns’ ‘Didn’t Do Us Any Favors’ the Past 60 Years

    It’s Official: The Democratic Party Is The Party Of Anti-Semitism

    Not Just the Election, It’s the (mis)Direction

    Viktor Orban Promotes Protection of World’s Christians in Trump Meeting

    ‘Save Chick-Fil-A Bill’ Survives In The Texas State Senate, LGBTQ Caucus Clucks

    Higher Education in America

    WATCH: Feminist Who Attempted To Steal Pro-Life Sign Wilts When Justice Finds Her

    ACLU files lawsuit challenging Ohio ‘heartbeat’ abortion law

    PBS Kids’ “Arthur” features same-sex marriage in season premiere

    Should the Liberty Bell Leave Philadelphia?

    What are the odds that the Durham investigation is for real and will bring the bad actors to justice?


    CNN Poll: Overwhelming Majority Wants Investigation into Obama DOJ Spying on Trump

    Obama’s Other Investigation

    BOOM! Joe diGenova: For the First Time I Believe These Guys are Going to Jail… This is Big Time! Brennan and Comey Needs 5 Attorneys

    DEEP STATE IN DEEP PANIC: Circular Firing Squad Forming, Crooked Officials Already Hurling Blame at Their Peers

    China’s Brilliant, Insidious Strategy–VICTOR DAVIS HANSON

    Handan, Shen Liu church demolition begins. The destruction of 23 more churches is scheduled (VIDEO)

    Chinese Officials Announce Demolition of Underground Parish Church

    Beijing and Rome can work together, Parolin tells Chinese media

    Ministry downplays reports on North Korea’s food situation

    Sacred Duty: A Soldier’s Tour at Arlington National Cemetery

    Thomas More Law Center Asks Supreme Court To Decide
    How Far Schools Can Promote Islam And Disparage Christianity
    US Evacuating Govt Workers From Iraq Over Iran Threat
    Christian persecution’s ‘inconvenient truth’–Cheryl K. Chumley
    Lawsuit seeks to hold Vatican at fault for abuse by U.S. priests
    Does the Catholic Church back right-wing populists? Depends on the country.


    Liked by 2 people

    1. CrewDog: thank you for all these links. I chuckled, wryly, at this one: “Beijing and Rome can work together, Parolin tells Chinese media” and thought of Neville Chamberlain waving his silly bit of paper after Munich in 1938. Or 1960’s/70s Vatican “Ostpolitik” with the USSR. Do they never learn? Or do they want to?

      Liked by 2 people

  11. From Scott Hahn this morning:

    FAITH ALERT! Please let your voice be heard today. Because the very “seal” of confession – and thus the sacrament itself – is under siege in California.

    SB 360, now in the legislature of California, would in effect outlaw the seal of confession, and criminalize priests who who will not break it. This is a very real and serious threat to the Church, especially our priests, and to the religious freedom of all.

    Please understand, I do not use social media for political causes, but this is NOT about politics: what is at risk is the Catholic Church, especially good priests, along with the religious freedom of every citizen, believer or unbeliever.

    Please read the following report, and then share it with everyone you know, no matter where they live, including non-catholics and non-christians. We really need to let our voices be heard today:


    “Oppose Bill Targeting ‘Seal’ of Confession”

    “For Catholics, the sanctity of the confessional is unquestionable. It is central to our constitutional right to the free expression of religion.

    SB 360 Mandated reporters: clergy (Hill, D-San Mateo) wants to remove that right for everyone, of every faith.

    Clergy and ministers are already mandated reporters of abuse when it comes to their administrative duties. That is right and important. It must continue unabated. But inserting the government into the confessional is not going to help children.

    Abusers are notoriously meticulous, secretive and deceptive. They would not likely seek spiritual reconciliation or counseling but rather go to great lengths to conceal their hideous crimes.

    In addition, Canon law is very clear that any priest who violates the seal of confession is automatically excommunicated. That will not change. In fact, several priests have been martyred rather than violate the seal.

    The free exercise of religion has been recognized for centuries by nations around the world. SB 360 would undermine that, create confusion, deter counseling and discourage spiritual counseling without gaining any protection for children.

    Urge a no vote on SB 360.

    Also read this from Archbishop Gomez: https://angelusnews.com/voices/archbishop-gomez/archbishop-gomez-confession-is-sacred

    Liked by 3 people

  12. The link isn’t working.

    From what you describe it seems like if the bill gets passed priests could be in a situation to face either jail or excommunication.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. I am trying to wrap my brain around this issue. I’ve read and re-read and re-read the descriptions of what is going on in Texas and I confess I’m still not sure what is happening or why.

    Here is how I am boiling it all down to its simplest terms:

    There’s a law in Texas that allows doctors and hospitals to withdraw life support after 10 days to anybody they determine is terminal. Emphasis on the “they determine”. Not sure what triggers the 10 day count down. But the family has got 10 days from the triggering event to get Ma or Pa or any loved one including babies out the door of the facility they are in to some safe haven willing to take them …. even that person’s family home.

    There is a bill in Texas, SB 2089, that would EXTEND the life sustenance grace period from 10 days to 45 days. It has now passed the Senate and is being reviewed in the House.

    There is both support and opposition to SB 2089. The scandalous part of the opposition is that of the Texas Conference of Catholic Bishops. They are against the extension from 10 days to 45 days. What is not clear from the description above is WHY?????

    Here is the TCCB summary position and rationale for opposing SB2089


    Like it or hate it, the TCCB position is a rational one even if you don’t like its brand of rationality. The operative element of the Bishops’ opposition is this part:

    “We must oppose the approach taken by this bill. Requiring indefinite medical interventions against the physician’s professional judgement is unacceptable. We strongly believe such a policy is not in the best interest of patients. It only prolongs patient suffering, artificially delaying natural death with no real benefit…….

    …….Archbishop Jose Gomez refers to this aggressive medical intervention as therapeutic tyranny[1] and Saint John Paul II said inappropriate medical intervention on dying patients can be “particularly exhausting and painful for the patient, condemning him in fact to an artificially prolonged agony.”[2] Forcing health care workers by law to administer interventions which require them to violate the dignity of the human person is cruel. ”

    Prolonging patient suffering. That’s the nut of the Bishops position. It’s cruel.

    Frankly, I’m not seeing what extending the required life sustaining period from 10 to 45 days does to address this basic issue raised by the Bishops. Cruelty. What is cruelty?

    There is something more than life and death and prolonging life at least 45 days going on here.

    I suspect it has to do with money. It costs money to keep people alive.

    This is a real problem because the costs are simply amazing. It can be quite daunting for a family to keep Ma alive for even just a few days or weeks in some facility somewhere. We have encountered that on two occasions in our family.

    When your 80 year old Auntie has a stroke and is comatose and the family gathers in the hospital waiting room and the neurologist who you don’t know and who doesn’t know you comes out to brief you that is when the rubber hits the road. “We want to keep Ma alive. Do everything you can to give her a fighting chance to live.”

    What the neurologist won’t ask you is “How robust is Ma’s health insurance coverage?” You’d be surprised at what most health insurance programs won’t pay for. You will get acute care coverage with some deductible but you won’t get palliative coverage for very long. So the family is faced with crushing financial decisions very quickly. Very quickly. So the hospital will load Ma in an ambulance and transfer her to the nursing home….where the costs really begin to mount up in a hurry.

    Ma isn’t coming back. Ma would be appalled at the costs the family is facing if it adheres to the
    “Keep Ma alive at all costs” standard. Just sayin’.

    What distinguishes Mrs Jones case, as I understand it, is that she is NOT COMATOSE. She is compos mentis and wants to stay alive even in the face of some form of terminal condition which is imminent but indeterminate. Somebody at some level is determining against this lady’s wishes to end her life.

    Horse of a different color.

    The question there is who bears the cost of keeping Mrs Jones alive? The Government? The Church? The Insurance Companies? The Hospitals? The Nursing Homes? The Family? You? Me?

    I know this for sure…. everybody involved is hoping somebody else picks up the bill.

    It seems to me that science is getting better and better at delaying the end. Improved medicines and therapeutic approaches are coming on line all the time. At immense cost of course.

    Expand Mrs Jones’ situation by thousands if not hundreds of thousands in the future as science promises to achieve and it becomes a very complex issue. Part of it being a complex Money issue.

    Who is going to absorb the cost of keeping all the Mrs Jones alive for 10 days or 45 days or a lot more? Who is going to absorb the cost of keeping me alive?

    I think it is encumbent on those holding to the Pro Life end of life position to address the money issue. “At all costs” is simplifying if not to say deliberately avoiding the 800 lb gorilla in the hospital room. And I suspect Pro Life has no satisfactory answer to this problem.

    I looked up how many Catholic hospitals there are in Texas. Here is the count:


    54 Catholic hospitals as well as other health care facilities. What happens to them if the Pro -Life “Keep Ma alive at all costs and give her a fighting chance to live” position is strictly adhered to in the future? Can the Catholic health care network in Texas and across the nation absorb the cost? Not should they but CAN they? And what happens when they are all crushed under an increasing tide of severely ill, terminal, but indefinitely sustainable patients? What happens to those who might be helped but won’t be helped if these institutions go out of business under and avalanche of unpaid bills?

    We all are drawn to the tragedy of Mrs Jones’ situation. When you look at it from a micro sense the answer is do everything you can to keep her alive until natural death. When you look at it from the macro position the implications of the advance of medical science are daunting.

    The problem isn’t that big? I exaggerate the size of the problem in terms of numbers of patients and
    and the cost to sustain life? I dunno about that.

    I frankly don’t understand all the moral implications surrounding this issue. I do know that it is not a simple matter. Not black and white. Not Good and Evil. Not a simple decision on what’s the right thing to do.

    I’m thinking the Texas Bishops are equally confused. And staring those bills in the face. Just like whole lot of families do today.

    Cruelty. What is cruelty?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. No, Ed, you are missing several things here. First, this is NOT about providing extraordinary care to extend life…it is about basic care…hydration, nutrition, and a breathing tube. One of the reasons I get so enraged by the TCCB is because they have repeatedly raised straw men that have nothing to do with this law to support their position. This is NOT about extraordinary care; it is NOT about unlimited extraordinary measures; it is NOT about protecting a doctor’s conscience by allowing the doctor to make unappealable decisions to withdraw basic care from a patient.

      I understand why you would come to this conclusion, as the TCCB has so relentlessly tried to conceal what it is actually supporting by misleading people and mounting straw men which do not apply. I also understand why anyone would not want to believe this is true because it is unbelievable and would leave us with terribly shaken confidence in people and institutions we want to trust. I would like to suggest to you that you read the archives on Kassi Marks’ blog from the last six years. She has patiently and methodically dealt with all the issues – including the Bishops efforts to make this all about something else than what it is. Usually your comments are insightful and methodical. This one is a bit garbled because you don’t have enough information and want to take the TCCB’s assertions at face value. It IS complicated – but I hope you will take the time to look at the arguments over the last six years (as I have) and rumble through the efforts of the TCCB to justify by misleading and trying to complicate the issue. They are NOT in compliance with the clear directives St. John Paul gave on end-of-life issues. I started getting absolutely furious about a year ago when I would read the Bishops’ assertions, compare them with actual Catholic doctrine, then compare them with the actual facts and cases at hand – and find it was all obfuscation all the time.

      Your assumptions that we are talking about extraordinary care are completely wrong – (advances in medical technology are meaningless here as we are simply talking about hydration, nutrition, breathing assistance). However, your insight that this is really about money is largely correct – and the TCCB pandering to the Medical Association and establishment pols to enhance and preserve their influence.

      Really dig down into the meat of the issues in detail, Ed, and then I will be astounded if you still have an “on the one hand, on the other” point of view on this particularly controversy. Do NOT let the fog the TCCB is intentionally trying to cover this over with fool you.

      Liked by 7 people

  14. Charlie I will peruse Ms Marks’ archives as time permits. But I have to say that my confusion or perhaps better stated …. ignorance ….about the end of life problem and how we justly and morally handle that time of life remains.

    “…. First, this is NOT about providing extraordinary care to extend life…it is about basic care…hydration, nutrition, and a breathing tube.”

    Sounds to me like this is hospice care. I would add palliative pain relief to your list. This is care that can be delivered at home. This is how my father died. At home in bed. All for it.

    I don’t understand why hospice care at home or in a facility is not an option for Mrs Jones.

    Ms. Marks in her detail of what is happening in Texas uses the term “involuntary passive euthanasia”.

    Isn’t another term for that …. natural death?

    Nobody wants to die. At least not today. What we might call the normal way of passing is involuntary and passive. Hopefully in our sleep. Isn’t involuntary passive euthanasia God’s way of transitioning us to Heaven? Active euthanasia is a whole other matter. See Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia.

    My mother died in the hospital. Age 53. She had Scarlet Fever as a child. That Scarlet Fever killed her at age 53. Involved stenosis building up over 50 years in her heart valves. She had open heart surgery. Bought her two years of life. Then the pig valve in her heart failed. The day she died the family gathered in the family room just down from her hospital room. We didn’t know it but we were ushered in to say our final farewells. She looked at us and told us to open the windows because she couldn’t breath. She was being administered oxygen through a tube. They put my mother into sedation. Her next two visitors were the Parish Pastor for whom they brought her up. Then it was my father’s turn. They brought her up for the last time. Gathered and waiting there in the family room we heard a strange sound. It was clippety clop, clippety clop. Sounded like a horse coming down the hall.
    It went on for awhile. Then it stopped. Nurses clapping on her chest to help her breath. Next the doctor came down the hall and told us to come see her. On the way up the hall he uttered the words … “She’s gone.”

    My experience and recollection is that they could have kept her going. Basic care. Hydration, nutrition, breathing tube and pain relief. Hospice care before anybody ever heard of hospice care. But Ma was not coming back. It was about that pig valve. They could have kept her alive for more days or even weeks.

    We can call that involuntary passive euthanasia if we want. But it was a mercy.

    My dad was a general practitioner family doctor in a small New England town. Part of his job was to be with dying patients mostly in their homes. As a kid I asked him one time what did the patients do when they were at the point of death did they go quietly or were they afraid to die and cry a lot. He looked at me and said:

    “I’ll tell you a little secret. It’s the Catholics who go hardest at the end.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, Ed, tell me where it is in Catholic doctrine that doctors can forcefully deny you basic care contrary to your wishes – and not let you go anywhere else to receive it. No, this is not the same as hospice care. My mother received hospice care at home. Nobody told her that now it was time to end her hydration and nutrition, regardless of how she or the rest of the family felt about it. When she chose to stop taking her pain medication, her wishes were respected. When she started refusing nutrition, her wishes were respected by all of us. You tread down a very dangerous road when you decide that it is not for the patient or the family to make decisions about provision of basic care – but that of the state or its designated institutions. I guess we will just have to firmly disagree here – though the disagreement is not about Catholic doctrine: that is clear that such basic care may NOT be denied to a patient who wants it continued.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Charlie and Ed,
        This is a ‘nice’ discussion. Where is the boundary of a natural death & a prolonged artificial death. My Mother, a retired nurse, (still living, thank God) worked in various employment opportunities…. Bellevue Hospital to regular small town hospitals; to at-home care for the terminally ill; lastly at a small town medical center.

        She remarked to me a few months into the medical center time: My patients live. They come in for an illness, recuperate and become healthy… live. For those of whom do not know, taking care of the terminally ill racks havoc on the nurses. Their patients are more than patients, friends… then they die. Heart wrenching. A Doctor told my Mother she had a heart of Gold. She does.

        My Mother has repeatedly stated to me: DNR. Do Not Resucitate. If God chooses her to live, let Him work, other than that let her die. Not so much on her, but for the family. The trials which come with it.

        All the more reason to reconcile yourself with God now. At this moment in time as we do not know when our time is up. A breakfast counter ‘friend’ died Monday on the feast of Our Lady of Fatima. He and I disagreed nearly 100% on our current political issues. So much if we happened to sit next to one another, we (non verbally) politely declined to participate in a conversation. We both knew it would lead to disagreeable meal.

        Today, I offered a Plenary Indulgence for him. I say this not in boast but of the ample opportunities God has bestowed on us. If you are capable, attend daily mass. Obtain a Plenary Indulgence for you or a Holy Soul in Purgatory. As my Pastor remarks from time to time, not everyone is saved. It does come down to a choice: for God or against.

        The owner of the Breakfast establishment (Charlie when you visit, you’ll meet him) is a fallen away Catholic, one of whom had an Altar in his bedroom as a kid. He is a faithful man though as stated has been away from the Church. It was a pleasure to seek the light come into his eyes when I told him of the gained Plenary Indulgence. Further, mass cards were gotten… October 13th sponsored by the breakfast establishment.

        This is a great time to be alive!

        Liked by 4 people

    2. All of this is explained in my blog in great detail. There are currently 51 posts with links, embedded documents, and videos addressing life issues and testimony, primarily as they relate to this law in Texas and its application; efforts to reform or repeal it; and all the questions, issues, arguments and counterarguments that I’ve come across in the last six years are addressed there. But I realize that’s a lot of material and there are questions here that sort of demand a more immediate answer and maybe clarification of some misunderstandings due to a lack of familiarity with our Texas law here and how it is applied. So I’ll respond to a couple of things very directly and relatively quickly:

      This is not the same as a hospice situation. These cases do not all call for hospice. These are straight up denial of care situations. Not everyone in these situations is terminal; meaning they are NOT all at the end of their lives. That’s a common misunderstanding that we constantly have to deal with because those on the other side don’t want this particular nasty truth coming out – lest the euthanasia of it all be too clear for all to see.

      I refer to this as “involuntary passive euthanasia” because that’s just what it is. TRTL generally refers to the law as the 10-day rule or the Futile Care Law. (Note that even Methodist Hospital in the Dunn appeal admitted it was a natural death to allow the life-sustaining care to remain for the patient with a terminal illness.) I speak about our law, but also the broader implications as well.

      These situations involve people who want to continue receiving “life-sustaining treatment” or care (sometimes we abbreviate it “LST”) which is a defined term in the Texas statute. (See Sec. 166.002(10) here: https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/HS/htm/HS.166.htm)

      Catholics might call this “ordinary care” although that term is not all-encompassing. It is generally not what Catholics would call “extraordinary” care, although, again, not everything has been put neatly into categories. Also, this needs to be broader than just what the Catholic Church teaches because we are dealing with law and policy and its application across the board.

      It is *involuntary* because it is being done against the person’s (or their family’s or surrogate’s) wishes by an entity empowered by law (and protected by law – there is total immunity) to do so. This is just not the same as “I don’t want to die; I wish I didn’t have this terminal disease.”

      It is *passive* as opposed to active euthanasia because it is a denial of care that hastens death as opposed to an injection or “smothering” as one euthanasia activist/proponent of this law gave as an example. (!!!)

      And it is *euthanasia* because it is action or inaction which has the effect of hastening death. Sometimes it is justified by proponents of this law on the basis of ending suffering. That, again, is the very definition of euthanasia which I often quote on my blog. (Note that animals are an example next to humans – think about that – https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/euthanasia)

      Some of these people that TRTL has been able to successfully transfer after the hospital decided they didn’t want to treat them RECOVERED to one degree or another.

      Bobby Schindler also writes and speaks of such cases as well as he helps transfer patients not just out of Texas but from other hostile jurisdictions. Obviously, they were not at the end of their lives when the doctors and “ethics” committee decided they weren’t worth treating.

      In some cases, the person may be in a coma after a traumatic accident or injury and just needs more time. The body takes time to heal and we still do not understand how the brain works in terms of injury, recovery, regeneration of function, etc. Much that was written about this just a few years ago has been proven untrue or not as was thought in more recent years. There are a growing number of cases where patients recovered to some degree, if not fully, after an extended period of time. We are learning more and more that the idea of a coma being permanent or meaning “brain death” or “persistent vegetative state” is just not accurate. There are no such tests that are reliable and no definitive diagnosis or definition of these terms. In time, I hope to get a chance to read the books in my growing library of books on these cases and blog about them. In the interim, Bobby Schindler covers a number of these cases on his website: https://www.lifeandhope.com/leadership. (He also testified in favor of SB 2089, see: https://kassiblog.blogspot.com/2019/04/tada-amendment-testimony-good-bad-and_20.html)

      I’ll tell you another thing – in EVERY case I’ve been involved in (and it’s a growing list) – the decision was made because the medical professionals and those on the committee (not all medical professionals; some are chaplains, psychologists, attorneys, etc.) determined that this person was not worth treating because they had “no quality of life.” That is a very subjective standard that will necessarily vary from person to person. It is a personal decision; not one for strangers to make about you. And that’s an awfully slippery slope to start going down…. Deciding who lives and dies based on their utility or a preconceived notion of the perfect functioning life puts pretty much everyone at risk.

      For those who are dying or terminal, in these cases, they don’t want their breathing tubes, etc., removed to hasten their death. They’d rather maintain that care and let the disease overtake them as they prepare to die and make their final spiritual and other arrangements. I suspect that most of them at this point have said do not resuscitate me because they are at the end of their lives, they just don’t want oxygen removed and so forth.

      Some do not want this care continued and they do not have to. We are not talking about those cases. We are talking about those who want their care continued and the hospital has said no. Not only do they say no, the only option a family has is to get the heck out of there in 10 days. (The family can beg the court for more time but the standard they have to meet to get more time is onerous and has to be met within this same 10 days – it can’t really be done.)

      Also, there are cases where regardless of what the person may want, the continued care may be actually hastening their death. I talk about this on my blog as well. For example, there are cases where a person can no longer assimilate nutrition and hydration; their lungs may be filling up, etc. In that case, the treatment has become – not just unduly burdensome – but is causing the death as well. The body is shutting down. It would be inappropriate to continue care in that scenario. But that is not the only scenario in which these cases arise.

      The other side likes to say that you can keep bodies alive indefinitely. Sometimes they’ll talk about keep a “corpse” alive. I cannot tell you how negative a visceral response to that I have. It is appalling to talk about this issue in such gross terms (and the terms are chosen because they are gross) because they depict a scenario that is simply not true. It’s insulting to families as well.

      TRTL’s Elizabeth Graham testified about this and other arguments we deal with in her testimony: https://kassiblog.blogspot.com/2019/04/testimony-on-amendments-to-tada-sb-2089.html

      As for these things being provided possibly at home; yes, in some cases that can be done. However, you do have to transfer to the patient there. A bedridden patient cannot just be loaded up in the car. That has a cost and it is up to the family to absorb that. Sometimes there is insurance or benefits; sometimes there is not. I’ll also note that in one case I worked on, the family asked about arranging care for their unconscious (but responsive at times) patient at home as one family member was an ICU nurse. The hospital refused. The patient had no quality of life, it would be too hard for the family, etc., they were told. They were told other appalling things which I talked about in my testimony. (https://kassiblog.blogspot.com/2019/04/testimony-on-amendments-to-tada-sb-2089.html)

      In Mrs. Jones’ case, she is not terminal. People live with dialysis and breathing assistance for many years. She is a stroke victim and she is disabled. But that is not the same as being “terminal.” She has survived OVER 48 hours without her ventilator which was removed in order to hasten her death. She was denied dialysis that she was due to have yesterday and she is still alive. She should not be treated this way, nor should her family.

      As Wesley Smith testified (and there is a video of it on my blog: https://kassiblog.blogspot.com/2019/04/tada-amendment-testimony-good-bad-and_20.html) care is not withdrawn in these cases because it is NOT working, but because IT IS working.

      There is a large undercurrent here – and I suspect it’s more than an undercurrent – of eugenics and euthanasia. (Organ donation also plays a role here in some cases, but I don’t want to get into that right now as it’s not directly on point, but in time, we’re going to have to confront that unpopular topic as well.)

      So, in short, it’s not so simple as families not wanting to let go or patients that just need to get into hospice. There is much more to it. In my experience, it has not been the case in these situations of a family simply not wanting to let go. I’m not saying that never happens, I’m saying that those who work on these cases are not dealing with that. There’s more to it which I have summarized above.

      I hope this helps.

      Liked by 2 people

  15. Sean, I agree it is a nice discussion. One of the reasons I come here is because of the spirited discussions on serious issues. I am not going to beat this discussion to death. I respect Charlie’s views. I do know from painful personal experience that end of life issues are a hard, hard thing.

    Some ethical guidelines and directives to Catholic doctors and health care providers. And to those who grieve as well.

    Click to access ethical-religious-directives-catholic-health-service-sixth-edition-2016-06.pdf

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    1. I figured some painful personal experience was involved, Ed. I both understand and identify. When my Mother was dying, my sister was making decisions on her care (Dad was too shaken to do it well). I hold a certain moral authority in the family. I told all my siblings that we must support Kim’s (my sister) decisions in this – even if we disagreed. I suggested that if there were questions, we ask them privately, for this was tough enough as it was without adding to the agonizing pressure on her. Kim talked to me, shaken when Mom started refusing nutrition. She was afraid she was killing Mom, or maybe collaborating with her in a suicide. I told her not to worry about that…that the system starts shutting down – and that was clearly going on with Mom – who was NOT asking anyone to end it. So let it play out in the way that kept her most comfortable and allowed her to feel the love from and support of her family. Right around 3:30 in the morning of Saturday, May 12, 2012, she woke up and told my Dad, “Charles, I’m ready to go home now.” And then she passed. I was doing good until the folks from hospice came to retrieve her – and then I ran out of the house in a panic, for I could not bear to see her put in a bag and carried away. I wept copiously outside, shaking terribly – and wept anew when I saw the empty cot inside the house where Mom had just been. There is no doubt that at the end of life, patients and families face terribly hard decisions that will often be very uncomfortable – and make them wonder if they did the right thing. I confess that, when Mom refused nutrition, it bothered me…and had I not already said firmly that we must all follow Kim’s lead, I might have wavered…but Kim just could not bear to cause Mom the obvious discomfort and distress pushing the feedings were causing her – and I knew that first and foremost Kim needed reassurance that she was doing the right thing by respecting Mom’s wishes. So to blazes with my little discomforts. We do the best we can in unique and uniquely trying circumstances. I am primarily only an absolutist on the fact that ultimate decisions on basic care must remain with the patient and his family.

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