HB 2351

84(R) - 2015
House State Affairs
House State Affairs

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral


Patricia Harless

Bill Caption

Relating to conflicts of interest and discrimination policies for an ethics or medical committee review of an advance directive.

Fiscal Notes

No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.

Bill Analysis

HB 2351 would add a new section to Chapter 166 (Advance Directives) of the Health and Safety Code. This new section would require each healthcare facility with a committee that reviews treatment decisions of an advance directive to adopt two new policies concerning the operation of that review committee:

Firstly, the healthcare facility must add a policy that would prevent any financial or healthcare conflicts of interest during a committee review of an advance directive. 

Secondly, the healthcare facility must add a policy that would prohibit the committee from considering a patient’s permanent mental or physical disability during a review. However, the policy may include that the committee may consider the patient’s mental or physical disability if it is relevant in determining whether medical intervention is necessary. 

Vote Recommendation Notes

An advance directive is a directive made by a patient, or a person who holds power of attorney over a patient, to instruct a physician to administer, withhold, or withdraw life-sustaining treatment in the event of a terminal or irreversible condition.   

If a physician refuses to honor a patient’s advance directive or healthcare treatment an ethics or medical committee at that healthcare facility may review that physician’s decision.  This legislation would require a healthcare facility to add two new policies to the rules that govern an ethics or a medical committee.

We are neutral on HB 2351. While we support the provision that would prevent conflicts of interests, we are neutral on the prohibition of considering a patient’s disability during a review. The latter policy would fall under a gray area involving social issues to an extent. For this reason, we do not comment on areas concerning such matters.

Organizations Supporting

Christian Life Commission
Coalition of Texans with Disabilities
Texas Alliance for Life
Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops

Organizations Opposed

Texas Eagle Forum
Texas Right To Life