HCA v. Miller
West's South Western Reporter, 3d Series, 2000; 36: 187-199
Court Decision: 36 West's South Western Reporter, 3d Series 187; 2000 Dec 28 (date of decision). The Texas Court of Appeals at Houston reversed the lower court's judgment and held, in a case of first impression (i.e.,. involving a novel legal question for the court), that a health care provider was not liable in tort for giving life-sustaining emergency medical treatment to a premature newborn with severe impairments, whose parents had instructed doctors prior to birth not to resuscitate the infant. Baby Sidney Miller was determined to be viable at birth, and thus HCA personnel under state law and hospital policy were obliged to act, despite lack of parental consent. The court recognized that "parents have no right to refuse urgently-needed life-sustaining medical treatment to their non-terminally ill children." Consequently, the health care providers had no duty to follow the parents' instructions.
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Stead, William W.; Miller, Douglas P.; Lewis, Gregory L.; Hoefler, James M.; Seely, John F.; Miller, Franklin G.; Meier, Diane E.; Quill, Timothy E.; Block, Susan D.; Billings, J. Andrew (1998-12-15)