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A judge in Texas has ordered that treatment necessary to maintain life, such as food and water, be provided to a heart attack patient until a full hearing is held in court about his future.
The case of Terry Andrew Mace, 43, already reprises in part the story of Terri Schiavo, about whom WND wrote hundreds of stories between the time of her mysterious incapacitation at age 26 and her death, at age 41, after hospital officials withheld food and water.
He suffered a heart attack on March 6 and was hospitalized in Round Rock, Texas. Then on Saturday, March 22, Mace’s wife, from whom had had been separated for four years, ordered the hospital to remove all life-sustaining treatment even though he is not brain dead.
“Everyone deserves a chance to recover from an injury,” said ADF allied attorney Greg Terra, president of Texas Center for Defense of Life. “It has only been 19 days since Terry’s heart attack, and that’s much too soon for life-sustaining treatment to be removed. We will continue to work through the courts to save Terry’s life until he recovers and walks out of the hospital or until we have exhausted our efforts.”
Mace lives in Colorado and had been working temporarily in Texas. He was put on a ventilator and provided a feeding tube when he was hospitalized. He was breathing on his own, his heart was recovering, and evidence suggested he was making faces.
ADF officials said when his wife, who was in the middle of a divorce proceeding with Mace, ordered life-sustaining efforts to be halted, Mace began to slowly die of dehydration.
Then Mace’s parents, Terry and Carol Mace, asked to intervene.
Mace and his wife have three daughters, ages 21, 19, and 16, who also live in Colorado.
The judge, in the ruling, said the court was assuming emergency jurisdiction in the case, and based on the allegations, was ordering that life-sustaining treatment, “including but not limited to hydration, nutrition and oxygen in necessary be restored to Terry Mace, Jr., by either agents, employees or persons acting on behalf” his family.
The court ordered the next hearing for Thursday.
“The court issued the order to sustain Terry’s life while it considers all the relevant facts of this case,” said ADF Litigation Counsel Catherine Glenn Foster. “We will continue to provide support for this case so that Terry is given the opportunity he needs to recover.”
ADF noted it was in 2007 when it intervened on behalf of Jesse Ramirez. It obtained an order restoring food and water to the Gulf War veteran after he suffered multiple injuries in a car accident. Food and water had been withheld soon after his hospitalization.
However, Ramirez ultimately recovered and walked out of the hospital.
WND also reported recently on the intervention by the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network in the fight for the life of a California teen who collapsed.
Bobby Schindler, Terri Schiavo’s brother, said “People need to realize that ethics boards, hospital boards have been making decisions [about treatments] we’re receiving or not receiving. It will be worse with government-controlled health care. They’re taking medical decisions out of the family’s hands and putting it into the hands of bean counters.”
In that case, Jahi McMath was undergoing a tonsillectomy at a California hospital when things went horribly wrong. Doctors soon declared her brain-dead and, but for the fight by her parents, already would have shut off a ventilator to which she is attached.
That foundation was set up for Terry Schindler Schiavo, who died in 2005 after being deprived of food and water on the orders of Circuit Court Judge George W. Greer of Florida’s Sixth Judicial Court.
She had been stricken in 1990, at the age of 26, with a mysterious cardio-respiratory arrest for which no cause has ever been determined.