Breaking News
More () »

Houston's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Houston, Texas | KHOU.com

Beaumont family fighting to keep woman alive despite state's '10-day rule' for hospitals

The proposal the family is fighting for would require medical care facilities to provide minimal life-supporting care indefinitely until a caregiver can secure transfer.

HOUSTON — A Beaumont family is fighting to keep a beloved wife and mother alive.

Carolyn Jones has had serious health issues ever since she suffered a stroke in 2017. She’s been at Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital since the fall.

Her family says doctors turned off her ventilator Monday, against their wishes.

Jones survived the night and now, her family claims Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital is withholding dialysis as well.

“We’re thankful that she’s here, but we’re mad. We’re angry. We’re pissed,” said Kina Jones, her daughter.

Jones is so angry because she understands the hospital is allowed to stop treatment under the Texas Advance Directives Act, also called the “10-Day Rule.” 

The state law allows hospitals to stop life-sustaining treatment that doctors deem futile. Families are given ten days to transfer their loved one.  

For the Jones family, paying for a new facility is a problem.

They say Carolyn has been accepted to several medical facilities, but they haven’t been able to secure Medicaid coverage yet.

“We got to get her dialysis. I can’t move her without dialysis,” insisted Jones.

Her dad has hired an attorney. Donald Jones even testified in Austin supporting Senate Bill 2089, which would abolish the 10-Day Rule. 

The proposal would require medical care facilities to provide minimal life-supporting care indefinitely until a caregiver can secure transfer.

Senate Bill 2089 is heading to the House after passing in the senate Tuesday.

However, the Jones family knows changing the law won’t save Carolyn.

Her ten days was up on Monday. 

“Don’t let her die in vain. Let her save someone else’s life,” said her daughter.

Memorial Hermann sent the following statement to KHOU Tuesday afternoon:

“Due to patient privacy laws, and out of respect for our patients and their families, we are unable to comment on specific patient cases. As a health system, we are committed to delivering patient-centered care and respecting the rights of our patients and their loved ones.

We understand how painful it can be when difficult medical decisions must be made and our hearts go out to families in these circumstances. End-of-life decisions are made by physicians after careful and thorough consultation with patients, their families, the healthcare team, and a medical ethics committee. The decision-making process is outlined in Texas law and can take many months. The law provides a tool to balance the tough choice between carrying out patients’ and families’ wishes and the ethical duty not to increase or prolong patients’ suffering. 

We are committed to providing compassionate care that follows the standards of evidence-based medicine and best practices. We understand that these decisions are never easy, but we follow Texas law, as written, and our ultimate goal is always to make medical decisions that promote comfort, compassion and dignity for our patients.”