By now, many of us are well aware of the story of Marlise Munoz, the pregnant woman who was taken off of life support after pleas from her husband and an order from a judge. Although her family was against it, Munoz, who was pronounced brain-dead, was being kept alive by machines in a Texas hospital because doctors argued that Texas state law required it, for the sake of the fetus.
A very similar story is happening right now in Victoria, British Columbia. Robyn Benson, who is 27 weeks pregnant, is being kept on life support after her husband discovered her breathing but unresponsive in their home five weeks ago. Doctors said that she suffered a brain hemorrhage and pronounced her brain-dead.
But unlike the story of Marlise Munoz, Benson’s husband, Dylan, wants his wife kept on life support until doctors can deliver the couple’s son via c-section. Doctors are hoping that Robyn Benson can carry their son, whom Dylan Benson is calling Iver, until 34 weeks gestation.
“The doctors have said that he now has higher than an 80 percent of survival and that increases with every day that passes,” Dylan Benson told CNN.
There are two key differences between the two stories. Munoz was found unresponsive and not breathing and doctors are unsure how long she and her unborn child went without oxygen. While doctors originally thought that the fetus was healthy and growing as it should, they later discovered abnormalities and posed that it might never have a normal life outside of the womb. With Robyn Benson, she was found unresponsive but breathing. Which means that her unborn son never went without oxygen. Doctors are closely monitoring the baby and find that he is growing healthy and actually has a chance to live a normal life once he is born.
While I don’t think that it’s our choice to decide whether a brain-dead woman should be kept alive for the sake of her unborn child, I do think that her husband knows her best and would make the decision that his wife would want him to make. He isn’t only looking out for his wife, but also the couple’s child.
A fundraiser has been set up by Benson’s community to help baby Iver and his dad as they embark on the journey without Robyn. To learn more about The Baby Iver Fund, you can visit the website.