User Login    
 + Register
PDQ Cleaning
News : Brain Dead, Pregnant Woman Taken Off Life Support
Posted by Randy on 2014/1/27 4:15:43 (491 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But the hospital refused his request, citing Texas law that says life-sustaining treatment cannot be withdrawn from a pregnant patient, regardless of her end-of-life wishes.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
2015/9/1 15:40:00 - Royals Clubhouse Hit By Chicken Pox
2015/9/1 11:40:00 - Gilman City Coaches Shows For Tuesday, 9/1/15
2015/9/1 10:20:00 - NCMC Women To Open '15-'16 Season In Hutchinson, Kansas
2015/9/1 8:00:00 - Tri-County Coaches Shows For Tuesday, 9/1/15
2015/9/1 7:40:00 - Free Outdoor Fun Day Set For September 12 At Chillicothe
2015/9/1 7:40:00 - Firefighters Respond To SUV Fire
2015/9/1 5:37:35 - Carrollton Man Life Flighted To Hospital After ATV Accident
2015/9/1 5:34:54 - Gallatin Man Transported To Wright Memorial Hospital After Accident Near Gallatin
2015/9/1 5:24:51 - Grand Marshals Announced For Calamity Jane Day Parade At Princeton
2015/9/1 4:58:30 - Grundy County Sheriff Reports Two Arrests
2015/9/1 4:43:38 - Special Olympics Missouri Receives $1.5 Million Gift For Training For Life Campus
2015/9/1 4:23:56 - Old Time Harvest Days At Chillicothe Set For September 25 And 26
2015/9/1 4:18:23 - Busy Day For Latest Session Of Division One of Grundy County Circuit Court
2015/9/1 4:13:25 - Missouri Governor's Son Arrested For DWI After Striking Parked Car
2015/9/1 4:01:07 - 2 Oklahoma Fugitives Arrested In Missouri
2015/9/1 4:00:00 - More Missouri Bridges Predicted To Close
2015/9/1 3:52:53 - Police: Mother Said Twins Weren't Loved, So She Drowned Them
2015/9/1 3:49:10 - St. Joseph Man, Mother Charged With Infant's Death Inside Drug House
2015/8/31 19:10:00 - Softball Schedule Release Gives Trenton Fans "Taste" Of Life In The GRC
2015/8/31 19:01:03 - Milan Routs Brashear For First Softball Win Of 2015
2015/8/31 13:33:06 - Mercer Cardinal Coaches Shows For Monday, 8/31/15
2015/8/31 10:27:40 - Lady Bulldogs Cruise Past Carrollton, Enter New Week Unbeaten
2015/8/31 10:15:39 - Redbirds Roll To East Harrison Tournament Title
2015/8/31 9:40:00 - Trenton H.S. Volleyball Finishes Third At Lone Jack Tournament
2015/8/31 9:25:26 - Chiefs Look Sharp In Friday Night Tennessee Takedown
2015/8/31 8:40:00 - Furious Second-Half Rally Falls Short, Trenton Bulldogs Drop To 1-1
2015/8/31 8:20:00 - Grundy R-5 Coaches Shows For Monday, 8/31/15
2015/8/31 7:30:00 - Accident North Of Carrollton Injures Teen
2015/8/31 6:21:23 - Public Invited To "Meet And Greet" First Responders September 11
2015/8/31 5:37:36 - Unemployment Rate Rises In Grundy County



Bookmark this article at these sites

                   

Listen to KTTN-FM