On Thursday, Texas Right to Life Legislative Director, John Seago, spoke to VCY America Christian Information Radio about the plight of Chris Dunn, a Houston man whom Houston Methodist Hospital is trying to kill by removing breathing assistance against Chris’s will.
As Texas Right to Life has extensively reported, Chris Dunn was admitted to Houston Methodist in November. After refusing to diagnose or treat Chris, Houston Methodist instead issued a biased “quality of life” judgment that care for Chris would be futile. The hospital invoked a draconian law called the Texas Advance Directives Act, which legally protects hospitals and physicians who choose to remove their patients from life-sustaining treatment even if their patients oppose the decision.
Seago explained to VCY America listeners that Texas law is the most anti-Life in the nation. Not only does the law provide patients who receive notice of their impending demise only ten days to secure and transfer to an alternate facility (a nearly impossible timeframe), the law also provides no legal recourse to patients and families who oppose the decision.
Listeners who called from around the country expressed disbelief that Texas hospitals wield the power to override a patient’s wishes. Seago explained that, as unbelievable as this provision sounds, that is exactly what is happening to Chris Dunn. Seago also explained that Chris is by no means an anomaly in the state of Texas. In fact, countless Texans have been victimized by TADA since the law was enacted in 1999. Seago and the Texas Right to Life staff have been contacted by hundreds of families seeking aid in fighting death sentences just like the one meted out to Chris Dunn.
Chris and his mother are fighting the hospital’s decision, but the battle has been grueling. Texas Right to Life referred Evelyn to a team of Pro-Life attorneys who are working to stall the implementation of the hospital death sentence. Sadly, however, Houston Methodist has the upper hand and refuses to yield. In fact, Houston Methodist has filed for an injunction to obtain custodial guardianship of Chris in order to enact removal of his breathing assistance.
Many listeners called in to the program to assure Chris and his family of their prayers, and to state that they heeded the call to action by contacting Houston Methodist CEO Marc Boom. Thanks to the commitment of Pro-Lifers across the nation, Boom’s office has been inundated with calls and emails expressing concern over the callous decision to end Chris’s life.
Additionally, Seago urged listeners in Texas to contact their state legislators. TADA has been law since 1999. Often, legislators don’t believe the severity of the law until they see a case like Chris’s. State Senator Konni Burton issued a press release last week stating her support for Chris and his family and vowing to work to repeal TADA in the next legislative session. If legislators hear their constituents’ concerns about Chris’s story, we may finally see the end of the draconian law that has endangered Texas hospital patients for so long. Chris is the face of countless Texas patients who have been given a death sentence under TADA.
With the flood of calls and growing media attention, the hospital has taken note of the intense opposition, and rather than reversing their decision or extending the deadline for Chris to transfer, the hospital has doubled-down on efforts to contain the publicity of Chris’s situation. On Tuesday, Texas Right to Life staffer Emily Horne and a member of the local media – who were welcomed by Chris and his family into Chris’s hospital room – were escorted by hospital security to their cars and shown off of hospital premises. Houston Methodist doesn’t want Houstonians to know what they are doing to Chris Dunn. But, thanks to the support and attentiveness of the Pro-Life community, his story has spread far beyond Houston.
Thank you for your dedication to helping Chris. Continue to use your voice to #HelpChrisSeeChristmas by spreading the message on social media, signing our petition, contacting your local elected representative, participating in our December 21 Thunderclap, and contacting Houston Methodist CEO Marc Boom at 713-441-2671 or firstname.lastname@example.org to tell him that Chris deserves to live.