Sunday was scheduled to be the day of Andrea Clark’s death, on the order of her doctors, but efforts by her family have managed to buy her at least two more days of life.
The family’s lawyer has served the hospital administration with a cease and desist letter to stop plans for removing life support from the 54-year-old woman until a Houston court can be contacted with a request for an injunction against the hospital.
St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital agreed to keep Andrea on life support until at least Tuesday, after plans to move her to a Chicago facility fell through last Friday, reported the North Country Gazette. Her family is trying to find another facility that will accept Andrea’s care, but there is no guarantee the hospital will continue to wait until they do.
Andrea told her family she wanted life sustaining treatment to continue until her natural death. Under Texas law, however, hospital ethics committee had the legal ability to declare her care “futile” and withdraw all treatment.
The 54-year-old woman has been on life support since complications following heart surgery left her dependent on a respirator and dialysis machine. Her family says her mental capacity has not been affected and she is able to communicate with them, although her doctors at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital currently have her heavily sedated with pain medication.
In the letter the family withdraws consent from Dr. Robert Carpenter, saying that since he is an ob-gyn and not a cardiologist, they question his “seemingly active role” in advising the physicians.
As well, the letter states, “[I]t is the family’s opinion that Dr. Carpenter’s actions and opinions in this matter are informed solely by his personal philosophies regarding “futile care theories” and that he has not taken an objective approach in this matter.”
The letter also points out the “intractable pain” Andrea is suffering is the result of a pressure ulcer which she developed while under the care of the hospital, and therefore “it is the position of the family that the attending physicians and hospital have developed a conflict of interest… any action or decision that you make to withdraw life-sustaining treatment is ethically tainted by questions of fact regarding the level of care received by Andrea Clark.”
“It is the family’s opinion that the attending physician and ethics committee have overreached in this case. It should not be your decision as to whether or not Andrea’s life is worth living.”
LifeSiteNews contacted Dr. Carpenter’s office and was told he was “not available for comment.” Dr. Carpenter is Chairman of St. Luke’s Hospital.
(This article courtesy of LifeSiteNews.com.)