Death with Dignity: The Future of Catholic Healthcare in Texas Regarding End of Life Policies-The Texas Advance Directives Act of 1999 from a Catholic Perspective on Sanctity of Life
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The Texas Advance Directives Act of 1999 was a law that was created with the intention of adding order to the chaos that surrounded end of life care disputes. This act allows a physician to discontinue life-sustaining treatment if an ethics committee decides that the care of the patient is futile. Futile is termed as pointless or fruitless. The Catholic Church has very strict and set doctrine on how end of life issues should be handled as well as what constitutes a human person. The Catholic Church also has set doctrine on how to preserve the sanctity of a person even in the hours of death. My thesis will assess both the laws in place in Texas as well as the teachings of the Catholic Church regarding end of life care. Through this understanding, we will address certain case studies and how each of these would have been decided using the ERDs, TADA, and a combination of these two documents as a guide. After discussing the relations between politics and religion and how this impacts the delivery of end of life care, I will present the reason behind why an issue like this is important to me as well as my audience. There are faces and names behind all of the data and end of life care statistics. This thesis was designed to advocate for people in their last hours here on earth.