Hours of frequently tense negotiations have broken an impasse over a bill to require specific patient approval for do-not-resuscitate orders in hospitals, making it all but certain that Gov. Greg Abbott will be able to sign legislation on one of his priorities for the special legislative session.
With the signed agreement in hand, the House State Affairs Committee voted 9-0 Thursday to approve a revamped version of Senate Bill 11 that the sponsor, Rep. Greg Bonnen, R-Friendswood, said preserves the “fundamental policy” of the original bill while offering protections sought by doctors, nurses and hospital employees.
“As long as they are acting in good faith, they are not in any way punished or penalized for any honest error or omission” for failing to heed a do-not-resuscitate order, said Bonnen, a neurosurgeon. “If they’re acting in good faith, trying to help without knowing that a DNR had been issued, they are not in violation of the law.”
The Texas Hospital Association did not take part in the negotiations and continues to oppose SB 11, saying the bill could undermine patient choice “by statutorily dictating the validity of a medical order” and add confusion to a process “that should be a sacred and personal one.”