Jason Childress Still Breathing on His Own One Week Later

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 17, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Jason Childress Still Breathing on His Own One Week Later

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
September 17, 2003

Charlottesville, VA (LifeNews.com) — Just over a week has passed since Jason Childress was removed from a ventilator, yet he is still breathing on his own.

The ventilator was removed last Thursday when retired local judge Herbert Pickford, who had been assigned as Jason’s guardian when family members couldn’t agree about his care, made the decision to remove it.

Katrinia Childress, Jason’s stepmother, tells LifeNews.com that "all of his vital signs are good."

Katrina says Jason is still considered a "comfort care" patient, which means Jason isn’t receiving any rehabilitative care to improve his condition.

"I wonder at what point, if any, he will be considered a disabled person that is fighting to live, and actually be moved into a regular room, or even better, a different
facility," Katrina said.

"It’s so sad to think that, as a society, if you remove the ventilator to end someone’s life and they still continue to live, that the facilities still do not have to provide any care or therapy for these patients, they are just left to lay in a bed off to itself where the nurses don’t have to check on them on a regular basis," Katrina added.

Should Jason develop an infection, doctors are not required to treat it.

"That is nothing short of cruelty," Katrina said.

Doctors say they don’t know how long Jason will continue to breathe on his own. He continues to receive food and water via a feeding tube, since Pickford did not consent to removing it.

Katrina wonders what Pickford and doctors will do next should Jason’s condition stay the same — whether they would provide care to him or find another method to end his life.

She has had nurses remove Jason from bed for two hours a day since Saturday to sit in a geriatric chair. It is the first time Jason has been out of a hospital bed in two months.

Childress’ family continues to visit him daily at the University of Virginia Medical Center.

"There really need to be more laws to protect people like Terri and Jason," Katrina concluded. "Our society has made it entirely too easy to just end a disabled person’s life, when it should be the other way around, they should go beyond any means to save a life."