AudioHealthcareDEVELOPING: Recovering Texas Woman Facing Removal from Life Support Due to Red Tape

Hospital administrators at Memorial Hermann Southwest have invoked the government-sanctioned 10-Day rule for a woman recovering from a stroke.
May 10, 2019
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UPDATE: Recovering Beaumont Woman’s Life-Sustaining Treatment to End Due to 10-Day Rule

Carolyn Jones, a 61-year old resident of Beaumont, has lived in health care facilities since she suffered a severe stroke in late 2017. And unless the administrators at her hospital reverse their decision to follow the so-called 10-Day Rule, she may very well face death come Monday.

The 10-Day Rule is a result of the Texas Advance Directives Act (TADA), a bill signed into law in 1999 by then-Governor George W. Bush. The legislation was supposed to be a conflict resolution attempt, outlining ways for patients and health professionals to settle disputes, in particular about end-of-life issues.

The rule stipulates that if doctors deem life-sustaining treatment futile, an ethics committee comprised of hospital employees reviews the decision for final determination. Should the committee concur, a family is provided written notice and has 10 days to secure treatment in another facility before basic care ceases.

For the Jones family, the 10-Day Rule is a nightmare that may very well end the life of a loved one. The Texan spoke with Carolyn Jones’ daughter, Kina, earlier this afternoon. She and the Jones family–including her father Donald–say Carolyn has shown signs of improvement since her stroke. 

Nevertheless, a committee of administrators at Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital in Houston has decided to follow through with the 10-Day Rule.

Only adding to the family’s pain is the fact that three facilities in Houston have agreed to care for Jones, who is responsive, conscious, but cannot speak due to intubation.

However, moving Carolyn to another facility requires substantial financial cost and the daunting task of navigating additional layers of bureaucracy–this time of the government variety–through Medicaid. It remains doubtful that the Jones family can secure Medicaid approval in time to help pay for the transfer.

The Texan will have additional coverage of this story in the days ahead. Until then, here is Tony Guajardo’s gut-wrenching interview with Kina Jones earlier this afternoon.

Drew White

Drew White

Drew White is the Senior Editor for The Texan. Most recently, he worked as the senior federal policy analyst at the Texas Public Policy Foundation after spending two years in the U.S. Senate serving as domestic policy advisor for Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX). He also worked as a legislative strategist for Heritage Action for America, the political arm of the Heritage Foundation. He received his Bachelor’s degree in political science from Auburn University and attended graduate school at Tel Aviv University. He currently resides in central Texas with his wife, son, and golden retriever, Emmie.