This Patient Wants to Live, His Hospital Wants to Take Him Off Life Support Without His Consent

Opinion   Bobby Schindler   Dec 17, 2015   |   2:28PM    Houston, TX

Imagine lying in a hospital bed and being asked: “Do you want to live?” Now imagine this: your answer doesn’t matter.

Chris Dunn doesn’t have to imagine this, because he’s living it from a bed at Houston Methodist Hospital. Chris, a 46 year old former EMT, has been in the Houston hospital for more than eight weeks because he collapsed, likely due to a mass on his pancreas. While Chris breathes with assistance from a ventilator, he is conscious and alert.

His mother, Evelyn Kelly, is Chris’s Medical Power of Attorney. She has had to fight for Chris’s continued care because Houston Methodist has invoked a statutory process, found in the Texas Advanced Directives Act, which allows the hospital to override medical directives of a patient and provide only ten days’ notice before withdrawing life-sustaining treatment. And this is coming from a hospital explicitly claiming to be Christian, which proclaims they “strive to treat everyone as a person of sacred worth and value, created by God.”

In this case, Chris’s worth is apparently more economic than sacred, because the hospital has taken an extra step against Chris’s mom, digging in their heels to ensure that they can kill this man. Just recently, they filed to be his Permanent Guardian, which would remove Chris’s mom as his guardian and make it impossible for her to stop a hospital’s prescription of death for her son.

As if this weren’t enough, there was the recent, emotional video released of Chris, communicating his desire to continue receiving treatment and for his mother’s attorneys to fight for his life on his behalf. Chris clearly wants to live.

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Welcome to our new health care system: Death Inc., where killing our medically vulnerable has become big business, reducing costs by reducing people. Don’t get in the way. If you do, they’ll just take matters into their own hands.

Indeed, what’s happening to Chris Dunn and his family is taking place in an untold number of health care facilities across the nation. No longer will family members be in the position of making treatment decisions for their loved ones. Advanced Directives and Powers of Attorney might make you feel secure, but we’re heading to a place nationally where they won’t be worth the paper they’re printed on, where these decisions are now often in the hands of complete strangers—ethics committees, hospital boards, and health care professionals.

Apparently, it doesn’t even matter if you are on camera begging for your life. If your family does try to fight the hospital, there is no way to know the lengths to which the hospital will go to guarantee that the final authority on these treatment decisions remains in their hands.

When they judge that a patient’s “quality of life” justifies death, they’re really avoiding the more pressing question: “But what’s the quality of care?” Tragically, today’s health care system operates by a value system that places containing costs, as a priority rather than valuing human life. As a result, our medically vulnerable are now sitting ducks, directly in the cross hairs of an aggressive agenda having success desensitizing us to the significance of taking care of our brothers and sisters.

We must understand that nothing like this happens by accident. The death lobby has been working overtime to get our health care laws changed. One change specifically, which has had a profound effect on our medically vulnerable, has been redefining food and hydration via feeding tubes from “ordinary and basic care” to what is now defined as “medical treatment”.

Consequently, this reclassification of feeding tubes potentially places the number of people who are susceptible to having their lives prematurely ended in the millions. And families are often powerless to stop it from happening.

Alzheimer’s patients, stroke patients, the brain injured — anyone receiving food and water who need the assistance of a feeding tube either temporarily or permanently — are at risk. Sadly, almost every time the reason is economics.

Death has become ubiquitous. From abortion and the killing of unborn children in the most inhuman ways (think dismemberment), to euthanasia and the killing of patients through dehumanizing and undignified means (think starvation and dehydration).

It’s become so insidious, that we recently learned of aborted babies’ body parts and their organs are being sold for profit. With euthanasia, we are seeing the same thing – physicians killing the disabled, the dying, and the emotionally troubled, for financial incentives, and also, often times to get to their organs for profit.

Profit drives the culture of death. Across the spectrum of the pro-life movement, life is weighed against money, or the opportunity to make more of it. As long as death is seen as a way to profit, or as a legitimate way to solve economic hardships, there will be no medical or legal respect for our universal human dignity.

Please visit Texas Right to Life and see how you can help Chris Dunn and his family as they continue to battle Houston Methodist Hospital.

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