Think about the things that Texas is known for. Oil, trucks, cowboys, cows and big city life. Also, a gun loving governor and a booming economy. Oh, yeah and the myth that everything is bigger in Texas, right? We've got big trucks, big hair and...big government? Big government, you say? Sadly, yes.
Back in 1999, the Texas Legislature signed a bill into law that granted a panel of doctors, appointed by the hospital in which they work, to help with end of life directives. What does that mean, exactly? Well, if you wanted to go all Sarah Palin, then, I guess you could call these death panels.
As we all know, the 83rd legislative session of the Texas house is coming to a close. This year proved to be a fairly quiet one, until now. The current legislative body has apparently being working on drafting what they would have you believe is an improvement to the law already in place. My state representative, Bill Callegari happens to be one of the co-authors and he is
down right proud of his work on this bill, according to his staffer,
Steven, Representative Callegari feels it would be 'morally wrong' not to pass this bill. They are selling this as an upgrade, if you will. SB 303 and
HB 303 are up for consideration, and from my own personal research, along with others, this bill is just as bad. Hey, don't take my word for it, take a look for yourself. Texas Right to Life is an organization that believes that this bill should not be passed in it's current form. You can even read their own pro-life stance here. I would tend to agree with their philosophy on life. Life is sacred. It's so sacred that it's enumerated in our Declaration of Independence, "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
Also for your viewing pleasure, I have a side-by-side comparison of the current law and the proposed bill and Texas Right to Life's stand on the bill.
There are other groups here in Texas that have raised some legitimate concerns about the passage of this bill and Texas Home School Coalition is one of them. You can read their own blog about this bill here. This bill could also prove to hinder the rights of parents to decide their own child's fate when end of life decisions need to be made. That's a sobering thought.
I called Representative Callegari's office and I started off the conversation with a question that seemed simple enough to answer. I asked him that since Representative Callegari is a Republican representative, what does he see the role of government in every day citizens lives. He tried to roll me with an actual story that he thought would sell me on the idea of this bill needing to be passed. I thanked him for the information, but wondered if he would answer my original question. He couldn't. His answer was that Rep. Callegari doesn't feel that this bill creates death panels.
I also called a few other representatives and they relayed that they had met with and interviewed a number of doctors and talked to groups like Texas Alliance for Life and after that, they were more comfortable with the bill. My question is, what about the constituents? Where do they factor in? They are the folks who got you elected, are they not? The answer that the staffer seemed hung up on was that Representative Callegari felt that it would be morally wrong not to pass this bill.
I also asked where this bill had originated; why it was authored in the first place, and he assured me it was his own constituents. Well, I'd like to meet some of those liberty lovin' folks! #sarcasm, people! He also assured me upon my questioning that Rep. Callegari isn't beholden to any lobbyist groups because he doesn't need their money to win elections.
One of the other things that concerns me is that Steven told me that these 'end of life' situations usually only crop up two times a year. Yeah, TWO times a year! So, let's knee jerk legislate this problem away, shall we?
This is why it's so important to stay active and vigilant when it comes
to government on all levels, whether it be local school boards and mud
districts, our state government, or all the way to the nations capitol.
It's called tyranny 'creep' for a reason, ya'll.
Believe it or not, I have yet to hear from Representative Callegari himself. Hey, I'm still waiting....
*This article was originally published on the Texas GOP Vote website and you can view it here.