New Futility Case in Texas

It’s been a while since we’ve posted anything on it, but futile care policies have been an area of concern for NDY and other disability rights groups for many years. Things have been quiet for awhile, which isn’t really good news. We only hear about futile care issues if a family goes public – reaching out to us, the press or some other group for assistance in fighting involuntary withholding and or withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment from a family member.

The embedded video above is a news story aired on KTRK in Houston TX.  Below is an excerpt from the written story on the same page:

A local mother filed a lawsuit in an effort to save her son’s life.

Chris Dunn, 46, is on a breathing machine now at Houston Methodist Hospital, receiving life-sustaining treatment. Doctors there think it is best to stop that treatment, but his mother, Evelyn Kelly, is fighting for his life.

Dunn has been in the hospital for 8 weeks because of a mass on his pancreas. His major organs are deteriorating and the hospital wants to stop life-sustaining treatment.

“It’s a mother’s nightmare because they want to come in and they want to turn his life support off and administer some kind of drug,” Kelly said. “I don’t even know what it is.”

Kelly contacted Texas Right to Life and Attorney Joe Nixon for help.

“There’s a statute in Texas that allows hospitals to form a nameless, faceless committee and make a decision that they want to terminate life-sustaining care,” Nixon said.

Kelly shot cell phone video on December 2 inside her son’s hospital room. In the video, Nixon asks Chris is he wants to live.

“Do you want to stay alive?” Nixon asks.

Chris cannot speak because of a breathing tube, but he nods his head and folds his hands in prayer.

There are more questions here than answers. The station’s news report doesn’t dispute that Chris Dunn, the individual the hospital wants to take off life support, is conscious. If his organs are really breaking down, death would be fairly imminent. Why the rush to deprive him of what may be days or weeks. Hate to think it, but maybe it’s money. According to the family, Dunn was without health insurance when he fell ill. We’ll be following this.

One thought on “New Futility Case in Texas

  1. If he wants to stay alive to pray, he should be allowed to do so. Even in his weakened state, he knows that God is the Author of life, & only He has the right to give it or to take it away!

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