Judge Orders Pregnant Woman to be Taken Off Life Support

lifeA pregnant woman in Texas will likely soon be removed from life support after a heart-wrenching battle over her fetus.

As Babble originally reported a month ago,¬†Erick Munoz has been trying to take his pregnant wife off life support because he says that’s what she would have wanted.

33-year-old Marlise Munoz was 14 weeks pregnant on November 26, when she suffered what doctors think was a pulmonary embolism. She never regained consciousness.

While her husband and other family members wanted her taken off life support, hospital officials resisted, saying they were trying to obey a Texas law that says “you cannot withhold or withdraw life-sustaining treatment for a pregnant patient.”

But, as CNN reports, a judge has ordered a Fort Worth hospital to remove the brain-dead woman from respirators and ventilators.

Munoz’s lawyer, Jessica Janicek, argued that the hospital was “utilizing Marlise Munoz’s body as a science experiment” even though it has been determined that the fetus likely lost oxygen during her embolism and was not viable.

Despite the judge’s decision, the hospital could appeal, but Munoz maintains the hospital should abide by his wife’s wishes — even though they weren’t written down, they had been verbally relayed to him before her embolism.

I can’t imagine the agony Munoz is in: not only losing his unborn child but having to deal with such a long drawn out death of his spouse. As CNN notes, “Munoz said little to him now is recognizable about Marlise. Her bones crack when her stiff limbs move. Her usual scent has been replaced by the ‘smell of death.’ And her once lively eyes have become ‘soulless.'”

The family can’t understand why they haven’t been allowed to let Marlise Munoz and her unborn child die in peace. As family lawyer, Jessica King told members of the media, “Pregnant women die every day. They die in car accidents, of heart attacks, and other injuries. And when they die, their fetus dies with them… It’s the way it’s always been and the way it should be.”

Although the hospital hasn’t said much recently, earlier this month spokesman J.R. Labbe told CNN that his hospital believed “the courts are the appropriate venue to provide clarity, direction, and resolution in this matter.”

What do you think? Should Marlise Munoz be kept alive until her fetus is born or should she be taken off life support?


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