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The Baby Doe Rules and Texas’s 'Futility Law' in the NICU


Thomas William Mayo


Southern Methodist School of Law

February 17, 2010

Georgia State University Law Review, Vol. 25, No. 4, 2009
SMU Dedman School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 54

Abstract:     
The applicability in the NICU of the futility provision of Texas's Advance Directives Act and its relationship to the Baby Doe rules are reasonably straightforward. Nonetheless, many comments have been written about Texas's so-called “futility law,” some of them complimentary and others, not so much. The most serious critiques of the Texas futility provision, however, are based upon assumptions that result from a fundamental misreading of the law. After a brief discussion of the futility provision and its principal features, this Essay examines the misunderstandings that plague many critiques of the law and then offers a list of proposed amendments to the law that address some of the actual deficiencies in the futility provision.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 15

Keywords: end-of-life treatment, Baby Doe rule, medical futility, death and dying

JEL Classification: I18, K13, K32, K41, K49

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Date posted: February 18, 2010 ; Last revised: January 11, 2011

Suggested Citation

Mayo, Thomas William, The Baby Doe Rules and Texas’s 'Futility Law' in the NICU (February 17, 2010). Georgia State University Law Review, Vol. 25, No. 4, 2009; SMU Dedman School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 54. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1554466

Contact Information

Thomas William Mayo (Contact Author)
Southern Methodist School of Law ( email )
P.O. Box 116
Dallas, TX 75275
United States
214-768-3767 (Phone)
214-768-4330 (Fax)
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