Marlisa Munoz: Texas judge orders hospital to remove life support of pregnant brain-dead woman
33-year-old was 14 weeks pregnant when she fell unconscious in November
Saturday 25 January 2014
A judge on Friday ordered a Texas hospital to remove life support for a pregnant, brain-dead woman whose family had argued that she would not want to be kept in that condition.
The judge issued the ruling in the case of Marlisa Munoz, who was being kept alive in a hospital in Fort Worth against her family's wishes. The judge gave the hospital until 5 pm on Monday local time to remove life support.
The case has raised questions about end-of-life care and whether a pregnant woman who is considered legally and medically dead should be kept on life support for the sake of a fetus. It also has caught the attention of both sides of the abortion debate, with anti-abortion groups arguing Munoz's fetus deserves a chance to be born.
Munoz was 14 weeks pregnant when her husband found her unconscious on November 26, possibly due to a blood clot.
Erick Munoz says he and his wife are paramedics who were clear about not wanting life support in this type of situation. His attorney argued that keeping the woman alive would set a dangerous precedent for similar cases in the future.
John Peter Smith Hospital maintained it had to protect the life of the unborn child. Hospital officials said they were bound by a state law prohibiting withdrawal of treatment from a pregnantpatient. Several experts interviewed by The Associated Press have said the hospital was misapplying the law.
The hospital said in a statement Friday that it "appreciates the potential impact of the consequences of the order on all parties involved" and was deciding whether to appeal.
Earlier this week, Erick Munoz's attorneys said the fetus, now believed to be at about 22 weeks' gestation, is "distinctly abnormal." They attorneys said they based that statement on medical records they received from the hospital.
The local district attorney's office, which is representing the hospital in the lawsuit, said the hospital was expected to issue a statement later Friday in response to the ruling.
Not much is known about fetal survival when mothers suffer brain death during pregnancy. German doctors who searched for such cases found 30 instances of survival over nearly 30 years, according to an article published in the journal BMC Medicine in 2010.
But those mothers were further along in pregnancy — 22 weeks on average — when brain death occurred.
- 2 Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
- 3 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
- 4 University student in court for allegedly covering housemates' food in window cleaner and spit
- 5 Ryan Gosling posts tribute to 'Ryan Gosling Won't Eat His Cereal' creator Ryan McHenry
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
Who should I vote for? The Independent quiz matches best political party for undecided voters ahead of the general election
Mysterious 'X-Files' sounds heard miles above the Earth
Garland shooting: Isis claims attack on Prophet Mohamed cartoon contest in Texas as its first action on US soil
Met Gala 2015: Beyoncé manages to out-skimp Rihanna, Miley and Kim Kardashian combined with near-naked ensemble
In defence of liberal democracy
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...
£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...
£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...