The Baby Doe Rules and Texas’s 'Futility Law' in the NICU
15 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2010 Last revised: 11 Jan 2011
Date Written: February 17, 2010
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.
Keywords: end-of-life treatment, Baby Doe rule, medical futility, death and dying
JEL Classification: I18, K13, K32, K41, K49
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation