SB 303 - Amends the End-of-Life Care Procedures - Texas Key Vote


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Title: Amends the End-of-Life Care Procedures

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to pass a bill that amends the procedure for artificially administered life-sustaining treatment and the rights of the patient, effective September 1, 2013.


  • Requires a health care facility to provide written notice to a patient or a patient’s surrogate upon admission to the facility of the policies concerning the rights of the patient or surrogate regarding “do-not-attempt-resuscitation” (DNAR) orders (Sec. 2).
  • Requires the physician or the facility to inform a patient or make a “reasonably diligent attempt” to contact a patient’s surrogate prior to placing a (DNAR) order on the patient’s medical record (Sec. 2).
  • Defines “surrogate” as a legal guardian, an agent under a medical power of attorney, or an individual authorized to make a health-care or treatment decision for an incompetent patient (Sec. 1).
  • Defines “do-not-attempt-resuscitation order” as an order that instructs health care professionals to not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation of the patient if circulatory or respiratory function ceases (Sec. 2).
  • Requires a DNAR order that is in a patient’s medical file to be removed if a patient or surrogate disagrees with the order and requests a review of the order by an ethics or medical committee (Sec. 2).
  • Requires a physician’s decision to not comply with a patient or surrogate’s health care or treatment decision to be reviewed by an ethics or medical committee that does not include a health care provider who is directly involved in the treatment of the patient (Sec. 7).
  • Requires the ethics or medical committee to determine if the treatment requested by the patient or the surrogate would do any of the following (Sec. 7):
    • Hasten the patient’s death;
    • Exacerbate other medical problems;
    • Result in irremediable physical pain or discomfort that is not outweighed by the benefit of the provision of the treatment; or
    • Be medically ineffective in prolonging the patient’s life.
  • Extends the time frame from 10 to 21 days for a patient or surrogate to locate an alternative health-care provider before life-sustaining treatment is authorized to be discontinued (Sec. 7).
  • Requires the facility to provide the patient or the patient’s surrogate a free copy of the portion of the patient’s medical record related to the current admission and treatment received during the preceding 30 days, within 72 hours of a written request by the patient or surrogate (Sec. 7).
  • Specifies that this bill does not authorize the withholding or withdrawing of pain management medication, medical procedures considered necessary to provide comfort care, or any other medical care provided to alleviate a patient’s pain (Sec. 7).