On Thursday, March 7, the Texas Catholic Conference, along with the Texas Medical Association, the Texas Hospital Association, Texas Alliance for Life and the Christian Life Commission - Texas Baptists, hosted a legislative briefing for legislators and their staff to present and discuss proposed reforms to the Texas Advance Directives Act of 1999.
Advance Directives reform is one of the highest priorities for the Texas bishops this legislative session. The legislation supported by the bishops—SB 303, introduced in the Texas Senate by Senator Robert Deuell, and HB 1444, introduced in the House by State Rep. Susan King—would reform end-of-life care by improving communication between medical providers and families and balancing the protections of human life and a medical provider's conscience.
Senator Deuell and Rep. King spoke about their bills at the briefing.
The briefing was also used to dispel a recent analysis of the legislation by the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC). Much of the NRLC’s analysis contains numerous and significant factual errors that distort the bills and their intent.
The Texas Catholic Conference issued a detailed response to the NRLC’s mischaracterization of the legislation recently, and the National Catholic Bioethics Center, in a letter to the TCC Executive Director Jeffery Patterson, outlined its support of SB 303 while addressing recent misinformation about the legislation.