[Paleopsych] LAT: Rep. Tom DeLay Took His Own Father Off Life Support in 1988

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Tue Mar 29 19:52:46 UTC 2005

Rep. Tom DeLay Took His Own Father Off Life Support in 1988
By E&P Staff
Published: March 26, 2005 11:00 PM ET

[an alert Mike Lynch of Pensacola forwarded this from LA Times.  See previous 
posts regarding Terri Schiavo. --Norman Vickers]

NEW YORK Exposing a previously unknown episode, the Los Angeles Times
reported late Saturday that House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who this week
championed political intervention in the Terry Schiavo case, agreed to his
own family’s decision in 1988 to take his father off life support and allow
him to die.

The DeLay's father, 65-year-old drilling contractor Charles DeLay, was badly
injured in a freak accident at his home. Tom DeLay was a junior congressman
from Texas at the time. The patient was being kept alive by intravenous
lines and a ventilator.

“DeLay has denounced Schiavo's husband, as well as judges, for committing
what he calls ‘an act of barbarism,’ in removing the tube,” the L.A. Times
reported. “In 1988, however, there was no such fiery rhetoric as the
congressman quietly joined the sad family consensus to let his father die."

This account was assembled from court files, medical records, and interviews
with family members, the paper said.

Doctors advised that DeLay’s father would "basically be a vegetable," the
congressman's aunt, JoAnne DeLay, told the newspaper.

When his kidneys failed, the family decided against connecting him to a
dialysis machine. "Extraordinary measures to prolong life were not
initiated," said his medical report, citing "agreement with the family's

His bedside chart carried the instruction: "Do Not Resuscitate." On Dec. 14,
1988, the senior DeLay died.

The Times noted similarities between the DeLay and Schiavo cases: “Both
stricken patients were severely brain damaged. Both were incapable of
surviving without continuing medical assistance. Both were said to have
expressed a desire to be spared life sustained by machine. And neither left
a living will.”

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