A Houston hospital doesn’t want the truth released.
Houston Methodist Hospital has invoked the statutory process found in the Texas Advanced Directives Act (TADA-Chapter 166.046 of the Health & Safety Code), which allows the hospital to override medical directives of a patient and provide only ten days’ notice before involuntarily withdrawing life-sustaining treatment. The hospital has utterly disregarded Chris’s desire to live, refused to formally diagnose his condition or provide a prognosis and treatment plan, or help Chris and his family to pursue care at an alternative facility. At this point, Chris’s only recourse is to find another facility that will offer him an ICU bed, but this is a daunting task on a rushed time frame, especially when his current hospital has already determined to end his life.
Chris is only alive today because his Pro-Life lawyers have succeeded in obtaining two consecutive temporary restraining orders against the death orders of Houston Methodist. Not only does Houston Methodist refuse to yield in any way; they are even trying to take away Chris’s right to fight these provisions by petitioning to usurp the custodial guardianship of Chris’s mother, Evelyn, and have authority transferred from her to a nameless employee of Houston Methodist Hospital.
In November when the hospital initially attempted to remove care, Evelyn contacted Texas Right to Life, which has assisted the family in the difficult legal process and referred them to legal assistance.
On Tuesday evening, a Texas Right to Life staffer who has visited Chris at Methodist Hospital many times was with Chris and his mother, Evelyn. With Evelyn’s permission, a photographer from the media came to the room with a camera. Chris was awake, alert, and communicative. When asked if the photographer could take his picture, he nodded. Despite all this, hospital security entered the room and asked the photographer to leave. They informed her that taking photographs was against hospital policy and violated privacy.
In addition to asking the photographer to leave, the security guards escorted the Texas Right to Life staffer and the photographer, both of whom had permission from Chris and Evelyn to be in Chris’s room, from the building. They escorted the women to their cars and watched as the cars left the parking garage to ensure that they had, in fact, left the premises.
Since the incident, Methodist Hospital has stationed security guards in front of Chris’s room to monitor everyone who visits him. Are hospital patients not allowed to choose who visits them?
Houston Methodist Hospital is clearly trying to hide their despicable actions from the public. Since Texas Right to Life began publicizing Chris’s situation – at the request of his mother – the hospital CEO, Marc Boom, has been inundated with calls and emails from people all over the country who are outraged by the inhumane actions being taken against Chris and his mother. Methodist is now taking the extreme measure of policing the visitors who see Chris – not for Chris’s sake, but for the sake of the hospital’s public image. Further demonstrating their lack of concern for their patient’s wishes, they escort visitors even when Chris himself wants those visitors by his side.
Countless hospital patients suffer from the anti-Life antics of hospitals like Houston Methodist every year in Texas. We urge other journalists to courageously tell Chris’s story and expose this human rights abuse until the day when we can reverse the draconian provisions of the Texas Advance Directives Act. Please continue to share Chris’s story, and keep Chris and his distraught family in your prayers this Advent season.