Judge Issues Order to Prevent Texas Man From Being Starved to Death

Seton Medical Center
Terry Andrew Mace was taken to Seton Medical Center, where he received life-sustaining treatment after suffering a heart attack. (Courtesy of ADF)

Alliance Defending Freedom allied attorneys with Texas Center for Defense of Life obtained a temporary restraining order from a Texas court Monday to prevent a hospitalized man from being starved to death until a hearing takes place later this week.

Terry Andrew Mace, 43, suffered a heart attack less than 20 days ago. On Saturday, Mace’s wife, from whom he has been separated for four years and with whom he is in the midst of divorce proceedings, ordered the hospital to remove all life-sustaining treatment even though he is not brain dead, he is making faces and breathing on his own, and his heart is recovering.

“Everyone deserves a chance to recover from an injury,” says Alliance Defending Freedom allied attorney Greg Terra, president of Texas Center for Defense of Life (TCDL). “It has only been 19 days since Terry’s heart attack, and that’s much too soon for life-sustaining treatment to be removed. We will continue to work through the courts to save Terry’s life until he recovers and walks out of the hospital or until we have exhausted our efforts.”

Mace, who lives in Colorado but was working temporarily in central Texas, started having seizures and then suffered a heart attack on March 6. An ambulance transported Mace to Seton Medical Center in Round Rock, where doctors evaluated him and provided him with life-sustaining treatment, which consisted of a ventilator and feeding tube to provide nutrition and hydration.

Mace’s wife arrived from Colorado and directed the hospital on Saturday to remove all life-sustaining treatment, which they did. When the hospital removed the ventilator, Mace was able to breathe on his own but began to slowly die of dehydration. Mace’s father immediately flew to Texas from Pennsylvania while his mother contacted attorneys with TCDL.

Both of Mace’s parents, Carol and Terry Mace, want all life-sustaining treatment to continue until more tests can be conducted and more time has passed. Mace and his wife have three daughters, ages 21, 19 and 16, who also live in Colorado.

The court ordered the hospital to continue life-sustaining treatment for three days until a hearing on Thursday at 9 a.m. in County Court at Law #4 of Williamson Co., Texas.

“The court issued the order to sustain Terry’s life while it considers all the relevant facts of this case,” says Alliance Defending Freedom litigation counsel Catherine Glenn Foster. “We will continue to provide support for this case so that Terry is given the opportunity he needs to recover.”

The case, In the Interest of Terry Andrew Mace, is similar to a 2007 Alliance Defending Freedom case involving Gulf War veteran Jesse Ramirez, whose wife ordered the removal of his life-sustaining treatment after a car accident. After Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys intervened, Ramirez made a full recovery and walked out of the hospital.

Texas Center for Defense of Life is a nonprofit pro-life legal organization located in the Austin, Texas area. TCDL is dedicated to providing legal representation and support to pro-life organizations and individuals in Texas and to aggressively defending the sanctity of innocent human life in Texas and federal courts.

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