User Login    
 + Register
News : Brain Dead, Pregnant Woman Taken Off Life Support
Posted by Randy on 2014/1/27 4:15:43 (433 reads) News by the same author

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) -- A very public battle over the fate of a brain-dead, pregnant Texas woman and her fetus has ended quietly and privately, as she has been taken off life support and her family prepares for her burial.
Click to see original Image in a new window

John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth complied Sunday with a judge's order to pull any life-sustaining treatment from Marlise Munoz, who was declared brain-dead in November, but kept on machines for the sake of her fetus.

Munoz was removed from the machines shortly afterward and allowed to die. The fetus, which was at 23 weeks' gestation, was not delivered.

The hospital's decision brought an apparent end to a case that inspired debates about abortion and end-of-life decisions, as well as whether a pregnant woman who is considered legally and medically dead should be kept on life support for the sake of a fetus, per Texas law. Anti-abortion activists attended Friday's court hearing and spoke out in favor of trying to deliver the fetus.

Whether the Munoz case leads Texas to change the law remains unclear. In recent years, the Legislature has enacted several new anti-abortion restrictions, including setting the legal guideline for when a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks - a milestone Marlise Munoz's fetus passed about three weeks ago.

Munoz's husband, Erick Munoz, sued the hospital because it would not remove life support as he said his wife would have wanted in such a situation. The couple, both paramedics, was familiar with end-of-life issues, and Erick said his wife had told him she would not want to be kept alive under such circumstances.

But the hospital refused his request, citing Texas law that says life-sustaining treatment cannot be withdrawn from a pregnant patient, regardless of her end-of-life wishes.

Judge R.H. Wallace Jr. sided Friday with Erick Munoz, saying in his order: "Mrs. Munoz is dead."

Erick Munoz found his wife unconscious in their Haltom City home on Nov. 26, possibly due to a blood clot. Doctors soon determined that she was brain-dead, which meant that she was both medically and legally dead by law, but kept her on machines to keep her organs functioning for the sake of the fetus.

Shortly after the hospital announced its decision not to fight the judge's order, his attorneys announced that she had been disconnected from life support about 11:30 a.m. Sunday.

"May Marlise Munoz finally rest in peace, and her family find the strength to complete what has been an unbearably long and arduous journey," they said in a statement.

Munoz told The Associated Press this month that he wanted to move forward with caring for the couple's infant son and relatives stricken by the tragedy.

Larry Thompson, a state's attorney who argued on behalf of the hospital Friday, said the hospital was trying to protect the rights of the fetus as it believed Texas law instructed it to do. The hospital's attorneys cited a section of the Texas Advance Directives Act that reads: "A person may not withdraw or withhold life-sustaining treatment under this subchapter from a pregnant patient."

"There is a life involved, and the life is the unborn child," Thompson told the judge.

Legal experts told the AP that the hospital was misreading the Texas Advance Directives Act and that the law isn't an absolute command to keep a pregnant woman on life support.

The case has been noted by Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry and the two leading candidates running to replace him, but none of them has called for any new laws yet or action as a result of the case.

Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott, through a spokesman, said the case was a "heartbreaking tragedy" and that "Texas strives to protect both families and human life, and we will continue to work toward that end."

Texas Sen. Wendy Davis, a Democrat from Fort Worth, said through a spokeswoman that any decision like this "should be made by Mrs. Munoz's family, in consultation with her doctors."

Printer Friendly Page Send this Story to a Friend Create a PDF from the article


Other articles
2015/3/6 7:36:56 - Highway 10, West Of Carrollton, To Receive Speed Limit Increase
2015/3/6 7:28:44 - Warnings Given Against "Lighning Rod" And "Asphalt" Schemes
2015/3/6 7:23:00 - Two Acres Burn In Utica Grass Fire
2015/3/6 7:19:18 - Newtown-Harris Hires New Superintendent
2015/3/6 6:52:49 - Michaelis Scores Career-High 29, But Mizzou Loses In SEC Tournament
2015/3/6 6:36:54 - NCMC, Prior To District P Title Game, Moves Into National Poll
2015/3/6 6:28:44 - For First Time Since '97, Chillicothe Girls In State Quarterfinals
2015/3/5 10:56:27 - KC Royals Sign Yordano Ventura, Seven Others, For 2015
2015/3/5 9:20:00 - Reports : Lewis And Clark Conference Extends Offers To Three Schools
2015/3/5 9:07:25 - Four Protesters Arrested Outside Ferguson Police Headquarters
2015/3/5 8:59:23 - Man Burned By Fajitas, While Praying, Can Not Sue Applebee's
2015/3/5 8:50:00 - Grand River Conference Announces 2014-2015 Postseason Basketball Honors
2015/3/5 8:24:50 - Unbeatens Mercer, Meadville Move To Class 1 State Quarterfinals
2015/3/5 8:20:00 - Shamburger Leads Mizzou To Senior Night Win
2015/3/5 8:03:14 - Chillicothe Coloring Contest Winners Announced
2015/3/5 7:58:08 - Webb Resigns From Grundy R-5 Board
2015/3/5 7:55:12 - Gallatin Sixth Graders Graduate From DARE Program
2015/3/5 7:40:46 - "Guys And Dolls" To Be Performed In Gallatin
2015/3/5 7:37:19 - Tuesday Afternoon Wreck Injures King City Man
2015/3/5 7:33:36 - Iowa Man Arrested In NW Missouri On Rape Accusations
2015/3/3 6:42:26 - Two Arrested By Grundy County Sheriff
2015/3/3 6:40:00 - Grundy County Sheriff Enters World Of Social Media
2015/3/3 6:38:43 - Bethany Man Injured In Early Morning Accident
2015/3/3 6:36:17 - Twenty Grundy County Entities Not Holding Election
2015/3/3 6:31:41 - Bishop Hogan Memorial School At Chillicothe To Hold Fundraiser
2015/3/3 5:43:01 - Head-On Collision Kills Ridgeway Man, Closes I-35
2015/3/3 4:18:07 - Mom Convicted Of Killing Son, 5, By Poisoning Him With Salt
2015/3/3 4:13:51 - US Considers Banning Type Of Popular Rifle Ammunition
2015/3/3 4:10:05 - Teacher Found Hanged In Southern California High School Classroom
2015/3/3 4:05:34 - Bill Clinton's Official Portrait Includes Shadow Of Monica Lewinsky's Infamous Blue Dress, Artist Says



Bookmark this article at these sites

                   

Listen to KTTN-FM