The Texas Legislative Guide was designed and developed by Becca Aaronson, Emily Albracht, Daniel Craigmile, Annie Daniel, Ben Hasson and Ryan Murphy for The Texas Tribune. The Tribune is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization that promotes civic engagement and discourse on public policy, politics, government and other matters of statewide concern.
For years, Texas lawmakers have struggled for an answer to a pressing question about end-of-life care: Should families or medical professionals make the final decision to end life-sustaining treatment for a terminally ill patient?
Some want to prohibit physicians from discontinuing care against a family’s wishes, while others want to give patients and their surrogates more discretion, but preserve a physician’s ability to make a medical judgment to end treatment. Neither side made much progress this session.
But lawmakers did pass what's referred to as "right to try" legislation, a bill that would allow terminally ill patients who have exhausted other treatment options to try experimental drugs that have passed at least the first of three FDA trial phases.
Updated: May 28, 2015
- Consolidating Texas’ health agencies
- Addressing a physician shortage
- Medicaid expansion or its alternatives
- Reforming end-of-life care
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