A federal judge has issued an order that food, water and treatment must be continued for up to 60 days for a heart attack victim whose estranged wife had ordered the hospital to discontinue those programs.
“Everyone deserves a chance to recover from an injury, and the extension the judge issued today will allow that to happen,” said Alliance Defending Freedom allied attorney Greg Terra, president of Texas Center for Defense of Life. “A handful of days is much too soon to remove life-sustaining treatment. We will continue to monitor the situation in the hope that Terry will recover and walk out of the hospital.”
WND reported earlier this week that an emergency order was issued in the case involving Terry Andrew Mace, 43, which 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.
A temporary restraining order issued on Monday restored food and water to the injured man, and at a hearing on Thursday, that was extended.
According to the court’s decision, Mace’s father, Terry Allen Mace, was appointed guardian “to protect the proposed ward and the proposed ward’s estate.”
The decision from Judge John B. McMaster said the temporary arrangement can last as long as 60 days, and he also said a special attorney will continue to represent the incapacitated man’s interests.
Terry Andrew Mace 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 several years, ordered the hospital to remove all life-sustaining treatment even though he is not brain dead, according to ADF.
The two were in the midst of divorce, and they had been separated for five years.
Mace, who lives in central Texas, started having seizures and then suffered a heart attack three weeks ago. An ambulance transported Mace to Seton Medical Center in Round Rock, where doctors evaluated him and provided him with life-sustaining treatment, which consisted of a ventilator and feeding tube to provide nutrition and hydration.
The ADF said then Mace’s wife, who lived separate from him in Colorado, arrived in Texas and gave the hospital orders to remove the treatment.
The ADF reported after the life-sustaining treatments were discontinued, he was breathing on his own, his heart was recovering, and evidence suggested he was making faces.
“Having a disability shouldn’t be a death sentence,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Litigation Counsel Catherine Glenn Foster. “The court order gives Terry the chance he needs to recover, which is all his parents were asking for.”
The younger Mace and his wife have three daughters, ages 21, 19, and 16, who also live in Colorado.
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.