Imagine you’re the mom or dad of a 46-year-old former sheriff’s deputy who’s been in the hospital for two months after a non-cancerous mass was found on his pancreas. Imagine further that your son is on a ventilator but can still interact with you and make his wishes known via movements of his hands or head. Imagine that in these interactions your son has clearly said he wants to live. Then consider your son had no health insurance when he went to the hospital, and now, a hospital “ethics committee” has decided it’s time to pull the plug, because further treatment is not “in the best interest of the patient.”
Unfortunately, this is not a bad dream for Evelyn Kelly, who’s fighting desperately to save the life of her son, Christopher Dunn.
Dunn is at Houston Methodist Hospital. Under the Texas Advanced Directives Act, Houston Methodist has decided to withdraw life-sustaining treatment. His mother is taking the hospital to court, saying the law is unconstitutional. “They want to kill my son,” Mrs. Kelly says. They say there is nothing else they can do for him, but I don’t believe that. When they found out that Chris did not have insurance, they said they were done.”