Beaumont couple fighting against time and TX legislators over 10-Day Rule

Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital officials will pull the plug on Carolyn Jones Monday, May 13.

The hospital first attempted to invoke the 10-Day Rule back in March, but the Jones’ lawyer Emily Cook with Texas Right to Life negotiated a pause on the countdown.

She said hospital system's criteria can vary leaving families to scramble to get things in order--especially finances--like in the Jones' case.

"This 10-day rule can be applied to any patient, at any point, at any Texas hospital. It doesn't matter if you have an Advanced Directive, it doesn't matter if you're conscious, doesn't matter if you have a valid Medical Power of Attorney--this can happen to you," said Cook.

In the last two months, Carolyn’s health has improved and three facilities in Houston have agreed to care for her, while her husband, Donald, of 39 years has been trying to clear complicated legal and financial hurdles.

Carolyn, 61, suffered a stroke in December 2017 and has transferred between different rehabilitation facilities since, landing in Memorial Hermann Southwest in November 2018. 

Carolyn is conscious but cannot communicate verbally due to intubation.

The 10-Day Rule, a provision of the Texas Advance Directives Act, allows hospital officials to pull the plug if a patient is on ventilation support, life support, or dialysis treatments.

Cook wants the 10 day rule bill to be repealed and put power back in the hands of patients and families.

"There are no standards in the actual statutes that says what kind of patients that the law can be invoked upon," said Cook.

She said the law is unique to Texas. SB 2089 could go before Texas legislators within a few weeks.

Donald Jones taking care of his wife Carolyn

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