FORT WORTH – Today, Senator Konni Burton (Tarrant County, SD-10) stands with Texans across the state who are disturbed by the current, dire situation of David Christopher “Chris” Dunn. Chris is in a fight for his life against Houston Methodist Hospital which has used authority provided under the Texas Advance Directives Act (TADA) to begin the process of withdrawing life-sustaining medical treatment, even though he has expressed a clear desire to continue living. Once a hospital exercises this authority under TADA, the patient only has ten days to find another facility willing to accept them into their care. In the case of Chris Dunn, he has been granted two brief extensions but his fight continues on.
“I have serious issues with any law that takes heartbreaking matters of life and death out of the hands of families and places them completely in the hands of bureaucrats or administrators,” said Sen. Konni Burton. “The Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution declares that no state shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. Where is Chris' due process? To whom does Chris appeal the decision of the hospital to withdraw life-sustaining treatment? We not only have a moral crisis at hand but a constitutional crisis as well. We must stand for life.”
According to Texas Right to Life, who serve as advocates for families going through this arduous process, there are at least four other active cases just like Chris' case occurring across Texas right now.
“The Texas Advance Directives Act is failing Texas citizens, and we need to pursue robust pro-life reforms to the existing law in the next legislative session,” said Sen. Konni Burton. “Last session, we passed HB 3074 which was a significant victory; however, the case of Chris Dunn makes it clear we must go further to protect our citizens and promote the culture of life that Texans expect from their elected leaders.”