State Representative Vicki Truitt (R-Keller) claims to be Pro-Life, yet she has consistently voted to protect her business interests over Life during her 13 years in the Texas House.
Truitt’s business, a physician recruiting firm called Physician Resource Network, has won hundreds of thousands of dollars in contracts from hospital districts across Texas. Texas Watchdog reported last month that Truitt has received $350,000 from Tarrant County hospital district alone through no-bid contracts, and both the executive vice president of the district and the attorney who closed the bids have contributed to Truitt’s campaign. To reciprocate, Truitt has never failed to vote in her customers’ interest, even when Life – the very patients seeking care at those hospitals – was at stake.
For example, in the last legislative session, Truitt killed an amendment that would have shed light on Texas hospital “ethics committees” – death panels sanctioned by Texas law that have the power to take away patients’ medical treatments against the patients’ wills.
The amendment would have required hospitals invoking the statute to report certain information to the state — information such as diagnosis of the patient, frequency of the panel coming together for the purpose of removing treatment, vote of the death panel, amount of time from which the patient was admitted to the time the death panel was convened, the time needed to transfer the patient elsewhere, and to what type of facility the patient was moved. At no point would the patient’s identity or privacy have been compromised.
Under the current statute, hospital ethics committees are unregulated and operate according to their own ever-changing framework, conforming to their own legal guidelines. No statistics or data are passed on to the Department of State Health Services, so no one can determine or assess how real the problem is — unless the patient or family seeks outside help. (That’s how Texas Right to Life knows about the abuses and quality of life judgments made for victims of this process.)
Without the watchful eye of a governing agency, or any formal method of patient appeals, the system provides the perfect environment for rampant abuse. Currently, a doctor who no longer wishes to treat a patient can invoke the Texas Advance Directives Act and convene a hospital’s ethics committee to review his decision to stop treatment. Generally, the committee, staffed by the doctor’s own colleagues and fiscally-minded hospital administrators, will rubber stamp these decisions and send the patient packing, regardless of the patient’s previously stated wishes, his family’s wishes, and even his ability to pay.
The patient then is afforded a mere 10 days to escape the hospital, or risk losing all medical treatment by the end of the 10 days. Most often, the patient and his family are unable to find alternative care on their own within that short period of time, and the patient’s death is hastened as soon as treatment is withdrawn.
The amendment killed by Truitt last year would have exposed the abuses executed under this twisted law. Truitt says she's Pro-Life but is evidently in the pocket of the futilitarian medical elite. Fortunately, Pro-Lifers have the chance to remove this Pro-Life-in-name-only politician from office. Truitt’s opponent, Giovanni Capriglione, has pledged to protect patients’ rights and be an advocate for ailing Texans threatened by their doctors and hospitals.