Although she did not have friends in high places or the support of national Right to Life groups, Mrs. Nikolouzos arranged to have her husband transferred to San Antonio on Palm Sunday, according to Click2Houston.com.
She lost her request for a temporary restraining order but received an emergency injunction from the First Circuit Court of Appeals, according to Click2Houston.com.
In 1999, Texas became to first state to pass a law establishing an ethics board review of when to disable life support, according to the Chronicle. The bill, which was signed by then-Governor George Bush, "gives hospitals the authority to remove patients from life support, but requires they give the family 10 days notice to find another facility."
Dr. David Pate, St. Luke's chief medical officer, told the Chronicle:
"He's unaware of his surroundings, he can't eat, he can't speak, he can't move any of his extremities. I can't imagine anybody in his condition wanting extraordinary means of life support to be kept alive."That sounds like a description of Terri Schavi's condition. However, the Chronicle, in a different article, found one expert who contends this is not the case:
The Texas law "allows doctors to stop treatment when ... treating is not going to help at all," said John A. Robertson, the Vinson and Elkins chair at the University of Texas School of Law in Austin and author of The Rights of the Critically Ill. "In Florida, the feeding tube will keep Terri alive, so it is not medically futile in that treatment won't work at all."Perhaps someone can help me parse the difference. Nikolouzos is being kept alive with a feeding tube and ventilator; Schaivo is being kept alive with a feeding tube. Removal of artifical life support will lead to death for either patient. Why does Texas law (theoretically) apply in one case and not the other?