Texas Advance Directives Act Survives Court Challenge – Kelly v Methodist Hospital

The Texas Court of Appeals has affirmed the dismissal of Evelyn Kelly's claims against Houston Methodist Hospital. Kelly challenged the constitutionality of the dispute resolution provisions in the Texas Advance Directives Act that were almost used against her son Chris Dunn. Notably, the appeals court did not reach the merits of the procedural due process arguments. Instead, the court ruled the case was moot and no exception to mootness applied. Apparently, in Texas, the “capable of repetition yet evading review” exception to the mootness doctrine requires a reasonable expectation exists that the "same complaining party" will be subjected to the same action again. Unlike Texas state courts, the federal courts are not this demanding. It is typically sufficient that "other" members of the public might be subject to the same legal problems. Texas should reconsider its mootness doctrine. Otherwise, unjust end-of-life laws will be…

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