Houston Right-to-Life Group Sues Senator Over Radio Ads

Categories: Courts

PatientHospital.jpg
Photo by Leon Brooks
Bill, says Texas Right to Life, gave hospitals too much decision-making power over who got to "pull the plug".
State Senator Robert Deuell is being sued by Houston-based Texas Right to Life because according to court papers the Greenville senator had his lawyers try and stop radio ads the pro-life group was airing against him.

First some background. Deuell, who is a doctor, had introduced SB 303, a bill that would alter the dispute process and lengthen the time period for families and others dealing with a loved on who was terminally ill.

The Texas Tribune explains the original law SB 303 was looking to change:

State law allows physicians to discontinue treatment they deem medically futile. If a physician's decision to end treatment contradicts the patient's advance directive or the judgment of the patient's surrogates, state law gives patients or their families 10 days to find another provider and appeal the doctor's decision to a hospital ethics committee.

Texas Right to Life was one a few groups not interested in the law and saw, they told the Tribune:

Dr. Deuell's bill would still allow an ethics committee to override a patient or surrogate's desire to continue treatment and would not alleviate the burden put on families to find a new provider. .... Texas Right to Life supports two other measures, Senate Bill 675, which would prohibit a physician from withdrawing life-sustaining treatment based on a medical or value judgment, and House Bill 1464, which would eliminate the 10-day time frame and require the physician or hospital to continue life-sustaining treatment until the patient is transferred to another facility.

Because you know, they're all about life.

The right-to-life group claims in their court filing that Deuell tried to shut-down an ad that ran during the May primaries that told people: "Bob Deuell is attempting to silence Texas Right to Life because they're telling you about his voting record."

The non-profit groups states that they had to pay for additional air time after a couple radio stations allegedly pulled the ad over pressure.

So, back to this week and according to Courthouse News, Texas Right to Life is seeking "damages for tortious interference and the cost and production of a second radio ad to run in place of the original ... and the loss of airtime for the original radio ad."

None of this probably matters for Deuell's political future since the Greenville Republican lost his runoff election.


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