Thursday, April 28, 2005

No Comment From Supporters of the Culture of Life

Hospital to end life support

Houston woman faces second fight in 2 months over husband's care

Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle

A San Antonio hospital has decided to withdraw life support from the Friendswood invalid whose family successfully fought a Houston facility with the same plans last month.

Southeast Baptist Hospital notified the family of Spiro Nikolouzos last week that doctors plan to turn of his ventilator and stop feeding him intravenously May 3. The notification followed the hospital ethics committee's determination that continued care would be futile.

"Can you believe a hospital's trying to do this again?" Nikolouzos' wife, Jannette, said. "It's very aggravating — I never thought this would happen again."

She vowed to fight Southeast Baptist, but said she hasn't contacted Mario Caballero, the Houston lawyer whose court filings stopped St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital from pulling the plug before she could find another facility to take him.

Southeast Baptist officials would not talk about the case, citing patient confidentiality laws.

Spiro Nikolouzos' case attracted significant attention in Houston in March, the same time the Terri Schiavo drama reached its climax. It shone a light on a seldom-used Texas law that allows hospitals to remove a patient from life support 10 days after notifying family of its intentions. The family has that time to find an alternative facility.



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