Miller v. HCA
West's South Western Reporter, 3d Series, 2003; 118: 758-772
Court Decision: 36 West's South Western Reporter, 3d Series 758; 2003 Sep 30 (date of decision). The Texas Supreme Court affirmed the appellate court's decision not to allow the parents of an extremely premature infant to claim negligence and battery against Health Corporation of America, whose medical staff administered life-sustaining treatment to the newborn against the parents' wishes expressed prior to her birth. Because Sidney Miller was expected to be born with severe handicaps linked to her prematurity, her parents asked that she not be resuscitated. A neonatologist determined viability at birth, which necessitated treatment without consent of the parents under state law and hospital policy. The Texas Supreme Court noted that parental decisions could not be made until the infant was evaluated after birth. The emergency circumstances at the infant's birth required immediate treatment to preserve her life and overrode the requirement of seeking parental consent or a court order to proceed against the parents' refusal to consent.
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