Ragged Edge Online Home

Andrea Clark and Texas futile care

Update May 8 -- Andrea Clark has died. Read statement from her sister here.

Update May 2 -- St. Luke's hospital agrees to keep Clark on life-support -- for now. More from Wesley Smith here.

Most people today would not call the kind of thing that is happening to Andrea Clark "disablism." Most people have never even heard the word -- or if they have, they consider it only something made up by the PC crowd. In Britain, it seems, "disablism" is taken quite seriously. Perhaps not yet on a par with sexism or racism, but up there. In short, it means bigotry against disabled people.

Today many many disability bloggers, Yours Truly among them, will be "Blogging Against Disablism." I consider that what's happening to Clark -- and to others like her that don't generate even the small amount ofnews she has -- to be disablism in its ultimate form. We may return to that point later today. For now, take a look at this story from Sunday's Houston Chronicle:

. . . St. Luke's officials said that they will not carry out their previous plan to discontinue Andrea Clark's life-sustaining treatment on Sunday, which will be 10 days after the hospital notified her family it was invoking Texas' futile-care law.

The law allows hospitals to halt medical care in cases it deems hopeless.

Hospital officials would not say how they will proceed with the case, which has ignited passions on Internet message boards and drawn harsh criticism of the law and St. Luke's position.

"I'm so exhausted, I don't know what to think now," said Lanore Dixon, Clark's sister, who has led a campaign to stop the hospital. . . .


There is also an email address for St. Luke's, it is: generalinformation@sleh.com

And another address to reach Dr. Pate, which is:

Po Box 20269,
Houston, Texas (TX)

Hopefully this info will help in the quest.


"But, this is not a Terry Schiavo case; not anything like it." -- anything it takes to assure Democrats that this is not a "right to life" case? Heaven forbid we cite the sanctity of human life as our cause; better make it about administration and money.

Okay, okay -- lemme do some more research and work on a letter. I'm just saying. *Sigh*


I think there are a number of reasons the "futility" policies have progressed with little opposition.

First and foremost, both the right and the left have a knee-jerk deference to medical authority unless someone in power has framed the issue in a way that interrupts the knee-jerk response.

Second, I'm afraid that "futility" actually appeals to the uglier sides of both the right and the left. These policies resonate with those on the left who are comfortable in labelling some lives as worth more than others. They also resonate with those on the right who care much more about seeing government spending reduced by any means necessary - and it's easy to ignore the cost to the individuals whose lives are threatened or ended in the healthcare system.

Post comment

(All entries are checked for inappropriate content before they appear on the site. Thanks for waiting.)

Powered by
Movable Type 3.2
Email this page to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):