The Texas Senate has voted to give families more protections when doctors want to stop treating a terminally-ill patient.
The bill by Sen. Bob Deuell, a Greenville Republican and physician, says his bill gives the patient and their families more time to appeal the decision and access to medical records. It also requires hospitals to continue providing pain management and comfort care.
The bill also says that hospital ethics committees reviewing end-of-life decisions cannot consider a patient's gender, religion, ethnicity or financial status.
The bill has been supported by the Texas Medical Association and the Texas Hospital Association. Some right-to-life groups have objected, saying hospitals should provide treatment for as long as the patient or family wants it.
The bill now goes to the House.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.