2008-2009 National Health Law Moot Court Competition
Thaddeus Mason Pope
Hamline University - School of Law; Queensland University of Technology - Australian Health Law Research Center; Saint Georges University; Alden March Bioethics Institute
January 8, 2009
Journal of Legal Medicine, Vol. 30, No. 4, 2009
The problem involves a private hospital's use of a hypothetical state statute that establishes an internal, non-judicial mechanism for the resolution of medical futility disputes. This statute, like Texas Health & Safety Code section 166.046, gives final adjudicatory authority to a hospital's own health care ethics committee.
The problem addresses two constitutional questions. First, the problem addresses whether a private hospital's use of the state-sanctioned dispute resolution mechanism, to deny patients life-sustaining treatment, constitutes state action. Second, the problem addresses whether the state statute violates the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution by failing to afford patients with sufficient notice and impartial review prior to the withdrawal of life-sustaining medical treatment.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 24
Keywords: medical futility, ethics committee, end- of-life, procedural due process, state action, constitutional law, moot court, Texas Advance Directives Act
JEL Classification: I00, I18, K4, K32, K13, K41, K32
Date posted: January 9, 2009 ; Last revised: November 6, 2013