Houston Methodist Hospital told Evelyn Kelly in November that it intended to cease life-preserving treatment of her 46-year-old son, Christopher Dunn (video below).
“They're trying to take his life,” Kelly told Fox 26 in early December. “I started looking for someone that's trying to save his life.”
“They want to administer those comfort drugs that they call comfort care,” Kelly added. “And he will pass within three to four minutes.”
When Dunn became sick back in October, doctors found a large mass on his pancreas impairing his digestive system. Doctors believed that Dunn was too ill to undergo a biopsy to find out if the mass was cancerous. Dunn quickly worsened, and he required breathing and feeding tubes.
In a video filmed by Dunn's mother and attorneys on Dec. 2, he was asked by his lawyer Joe Nixon: “Chris, we're trying to make sure the hospital continues to giving you good care. Do you want to stay alive?”
Dunn put his hands together, and Kelly was heard saying off-camera that her son was praying.
The hospital refused to speak on-camera with Fox 26, but said in a statement: "We are providing the best possible care to the patient and we continue to care for him. We are working with the courts to get guidance on who has legal guardianship of the patient. The patient's family disagrees on appropriate end-of-life care for this patient. We feel strongly that every decision we have made is in the best interest of the patient."
“The hospital has utilized a provision of the Texas Health and Safety Code which allows them to form an nameless, faceless committee, which will make a decision on whether they have to continue providing treatment for Chris,” Nixon told the news station.
Dunn is not insured, but Kelly said the hospital applied for him to receive emergency Medicare benefits. Kelly added that she believes the hospital wants to pull the plug on her son because of financial reasons.
"He's not unconscious," Emily Horne, of Texas Right to Life, told Fox 26. "He's never been unconscious. And he's very communicative whenever we're able to talk to him and ask him questions."
"We are currently helping four families in this situation, and we've helped hundreds," Horne added. "This is not just an isolated incident. This happens all over Texas, all the time."
Kelly has taken the hospital to court to avoid them pulling the plug on her son. Dunn's situation has become more complicated, however, as Kelly's ex-husband, Dunn's biological father, is challenging her guardianship of Dunn. The hospital said it will not treat Dunn or end his life-saving care until his guardianship is determined by a court. However, the court is taking time off for the holidays.