Texas Man Dies of Natural Causes After Wife Fought Hospital’s Plan To Remove Life Support

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A Texas man has passed away of natural causes after his wife fought a hospital’s use of the state’s controversial 10-Day Rule, allowing for the forcible removal of life support.

As we reported last week, Bill Costea was awake, could hear and communicate, and respond to commands, and reported being in no pain. Still, the Baylor Scott & White Hospital in Temple, Texas planned to withdraw life support—including his ventilator, food, water, and blood pressure medication—against the man’s will and that of his wife of 33 years, Eugenia.

According to Texas Right to Life, Eugenia was informed by the hospital on May 25 that it believes Bill only has weeks left to live and will remove his treatments unless she could find another facility to take him within ten days.

The Costea’s attorney, Emily. Cook and Waco-based attorney Ryan Luna filed and were granted a temporary restraining order against the hospital late Friday afternoon. With the temporary restraining order in place and ahead of the expiration of the 10-day deadline, Bill did not die due to removal of his life-sustaining treatments.

Although Bill passed away over the weekend, what should have been a time of peace and solemnity was fraught with anxiety and fear at the prospect of having to relocate him on extremely short notice or face a painful death, not to mention spending valuable time seeking legal assistance and fighting with hospital ethics committees.

Life News reports that the Costeas’ legal team continues to weigh all options to hold the hospital accountable for the deprivation of rights to both Mr. and Mrs. Costea.

Cook issued a statement, according to the outlet:

When a group of random men and women can strip away a wife’s medical decision-making power, with no findings from a court of law that she is incapable of exercising that authority, such a law clearly violates both hers and Bill’s due process rights. Bill wanted his wife to make his medical decisions, that’s why he executed a medical power of attorney. Texans are rightly alarmed that hospitals and physicians allegedly have this power.

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