Texas Bishops Lobbied Against Pope’s “Culture of Care”

TX Senate Blanton
Trey Blanton addressed the Texas Senate to oppose SB 2035, and support SB 2089. Stating, I was not aware bishops were considering these measures. I feel betrayed by the Bishops, and I do not feel “reassured” by these measures.

Austin, TX (Trey Blanton)- Pope Francis has called for a patient-doctor relationship on September 20 which seeks to avoid the “temptations” to “[I]nclude the possibility of ‘discarding’ the ill or the false compassion of helping people hasten their death.”

Democrats, R.I.N.O.’s(Republicans In Name Only), and the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops, along with their non-profit allies, lobbied aggressively in Texas’ 86th Legislative Session to ensure a “Culture of Care” remained out of reach for Texas citizens for another two years.

Prior to any state senate bill making it out of committee, the public is allowed to make a statement for, or against any bill. Usually, the only members of the “public” in attendance are lobbyists and professionals with a special interest.

April 10, saw the cabal of death eager to advocate against the lives of Texans.

Beginning with SB 2355, The bill would have created in Section 166.0465 (2), in determining a committee’s decision to end a patient’s life:

A policy to prohibit consideration of a patient’s permanent physical or mental disability during a review under that section unless the disability is relevant in determining whether a medical or surgical intervention is medically appropriate.

TX Senate CHAT TCCB
Beckett Gremmels of the Catholic Health Association of Texas and Jennifer Allmon the Executive Director for The Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops

Beckett Gremmels believes this bill will allow, “professionals with expertise to guide these committees”

Even in 2013, it was accepted by medical professionals in America that misdiagnoses occur in 10 to 20 percent of cases.

Gremmels would have us accept that medical professionals are capable of correctly diagnosing a disability, and its effect on patient mortality.

Perceptions on quality of life vary from person to person, and this bill would leave this discernment to whether or not a person with a disability should live or die in the hands of medical professionals.

None of Texas’ Bishops were able to be in attendance, but their Executive Director Jennifer Allmon showed her support for the bill by stating,

“this bill is designed to ensure people living with disabilities are protected, both from the withdrawal of necessary life-sustaining treatment and from being forced to endure burdensome, non-beneficial, often harmful medical interventions.”

Nowhere in the bill does it state how these policies and ethics committees will be implemented. Their is no standardization or “Catholic morality” behind any decision-making on whether or not a person with a disability should live, or die while in hospital care.

Later in the day, Jennifer Allmon spoke in solidarity with the Executive Director of Texas Alliance for Life, Joe Pojman, and Amy Warr, an appellate attorney whose office has both Texas Alliance for Life, and the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops as clients, in oppossing Senate Bill 2089.

The purpose of this Act is to protect the right of patients and their families to decide whether and under what circumstances to choose or reject life-sustaining treatment. This Act amends the applicable provisions of the Advance Directives Act (Chapter 166, Health and Safety Code) to ensure that, when an attending physician is unwilling to respect a patient’s advance directive or a patient’s or family’s decision to choose the treatment necessary to prevent the patient’s death, life-sustaining medical treatment will be provided until the patient can be transferred to a health care provider willing to honor the directive or treatment decision.

Allmon, believes “…sometimes, medical interventions are actually harmful to the human body and constitutes violence to patients”

Allmon quotes Archbishop Jose Gomez in calling the measures of this bill as, “therapeutic tyranny”, and claims Pope Saint John Paul II would not support a bill such as this with his quote, “inappropriate medical intervention on dying patients is particularly exhausting and painful for the patient; condemning him, in fact, to an artificially prolonged agony.”

I observed another quote by Pope Saint John Paul II during research:

Medical doctors and health-care personnel, society and the Church have moral duties toward these persons from which they cannot exempt themselves without lessening the demands both of professional ethics and human and Christian solidarity.

The sick person in a vegetative state, awaiting recovery or a natural end, still has the right to basic health care (nutrition, hydration, cleanliness, warmth, etc.), and to the prevention of complications related to his confinement to bed. He also has the right to appropriate rehabilitative care and to be monitored for clinical signs of eventual recovery.

You can read the rest of his statement Here.

After Allmon, Warr made the statements, on behalf of her Catholic clients, that people have, “no constitutional right to medical care” and “doctors have no obligation to provide care that is at odd with their medical ethics.”

Warr misses the point in this bill by claiming this bill would force doctors to perform an abortion against their moral conscience, when this bill, in fact, seeks to end the rule that families have only ten days to find alternative care when a hospital committee determines they no longer have to continue medical treatment for a patient.

Pojman looked to bring a personal case into the proceedings, citing Evelyn Kelly Representing the Estate of Chris Dunn versus Houston Methodist. Pojman held an amicus brief that, “wasn’t worth the read” but he did feel it worth mentioning that the lawsuit was misunderstood by the public.

Pojman believed “other organizations” were claiming the hospital had “arbitrated that Chris’ life was no longer worthy of care, even though Chris and his family disagreed with that conclusion.”

TX Senate Pojman Kelly
Pojman(Left) states Chris and his family wanted to end treatment, while Chris’ mother, Evelyn (second from right), looks at him in disbelief over his lie.

Senator Hughes took issue with Pojmans “sympathy” when he asked, “Were you present when the matters were happening?” Pojman answered, “No.” Hughes then asked, “Would it be helpful to hear from someone who was there, such as Chris’ family?” Pojman answered, “It would be helpful.” To which Hughes let it be known that Chris’ mother, Evelyn Kelly was in fact sitting two seats from Pojman.

TX Senate Evelyn
Evelyn Kelly (center) addresses the Texas State Senate.

Kelly tearfully declared, “Everything that man[Pojman] said is false.”

The Cabal of Death that exists within the Catholic and Pro-life communities is highly present in Texas politics.

The Bill passed in the State Senate, but Representative Senfronia Thompson(District 141), who chaired the committee in the House of Representatives, refused to let the pro-life bills come onto the floor. Thompson and her staff refused to talk with me as a constituent, and guided me out of their office when I handed them pamphlets on the bills in question.

TX Senate Seago and Horne
John Seago (left) and Emily Horne (right) were part of legislative team for Texas Right to Life advocating for pro-life bills, and opposing a bill that would allow doctor’s to consider a patient’s disability in deciding to end their treatment.

Texas Right to Life has been at the forefront of advocating for pro-life measures, even when other pro-life organizations, such as Texas Alliance for Life, or the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops oppose them.

At the time of publication, The Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops has not responded with a comment on their support of a bill that would allow disabilities to be considered in end of life decisions, or on the Pope’s current message of creating a culture of care.

The referenced bills can be heard debated Here, starting at 2:23:00.

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