Skip to comments.Hospital Cuts Pregnant Woman From Life Support, Killing Her Unborn Child
Posted on 01/27/2014 8:10:12 AM PST by Morgana
A Texas hospital decided not to appeal a judges decision late Friday to allow a husbands bid to remove his brain dead pregnant wife from life support, an action that would end the life of his own unborn child.
Following the decision, Marlise Muñoz, 33, was taken off machines at a Fort Worth hospital about 11:30 a.m. Sunday and her body was released to her husband, Erick Muñoz. The husbands attorney released a statement saying the family will now proceed with the somber task of laying Marlise Muñozs body to rest, and grieving over the great loss that has been suffered. Erick Munozs statement made no mention of his unborn child, who has now died as a result of removing Marlise from life support.
marlisemunoz3Earlier Sunday, a statement from John Peter Smith Hospital indicated it would not appeal, despite pleas from pro-life advocates to save the life of the unborn baby, who was 22 weeks and 5 days old
From the onset, JPS has said its role was not to make nor contest law but to follow it, the statement read. The hospital will follow the court order.
Larry Thompson, a states attorney who argued on behalf of the hospital Friday, said the hospital, before the judges decision, was trying to protect the rights of the fetus as it believed Texas law instructed it to do. The hospitals 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.
On Sunday afternoon, about 40 people gathered near the hospital for a prayer vigil. Operation Rescue president Troy Newman, who coordinated the prayer vigil, told LifeNews hes saddened by whats transpired.
We are grieved that the JPS hospital has removed life support from Marlise Munoz and her baby. As the term life support implies, Marlises body was alive and supporting a thriving pregnancy at the time support was withdrawn, he said. It is despicable that dehumanizing and deceptive language was used to refer to Marlise as a corpse and her babys condition as incompatible with life in order to elicit public support for putting them to death.
Newman added: A human being does not lose their God-given human beauty or dignity just because they are disabled or incapacitated. This case just goes to show how far we have slipped into the abyss of a Culture of Death and how intolerant we have become of those who are seen as inconvenient. We strongly believe that the order that led to the termination of life support is in complete contradiction to Texas law that was enacted to protect pre-born babies just like the Munoz child. The courts have failed this baby, the attorneys who should have defended Texas law have failed this baby, and the hospital has failed this baby. May this tragedy serve as a wake-up call to our society, lest others wrongly fall victim to this dehumanizing utilitarian view of life and death.
Marlise Munoz collapsed in her home last November from an apparent blood clot in her lungs when she was 14 weeks pregnant with her second child. Her husband and other family members have asked the John Peter Smith Hospital in Ft. Worth to remove Marlise from life support after they were told she was brain dead. Ending life support would also end her unborn babys life.
Erick Munoz, who said a doctor has told him his wife is brain dead, had filed a lawsuit against JPS Health Network. The judge ordered the hospital to remove life support by 5 p.m. Monday.
According to AP, 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 running for governor, sided with Erick Munozs decision to remove life support and kill is unborn baby, saying, any decision like this should be made by Mrs. Munozs family, in consultation with her doctors.
The designation of brain death is a controversial one and presents moral and ethical issues, especially when the life of a baby is involved. There are many cases where babies have survived after the mothers have experienced similar situations to that of Marlise Munoz. There is a very strong possibility that Marlises baby could survive, given a little more time.
We feel great compassion for the family of Marlise Munoz and her pre-born baby. No one ever wants to be in their difficult and tragic situation, said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. Marlise wanted this baby, and as long as there is a chance that he or she can be saved, we support John Peter Smith Hospital in their bid to follow the law and protect this babys life.
The public has been given the erroneous impression that Marlise is a dead and decaying corpse. This assumption is completely false. Marlises heart continues to beat and she continues to nourish her pre-born baby. A rotting corpse cannot do that, said Newman. As for the baby, we have information that diagnostic tests have not been done on the baby to support allegations that there are developmental anomalies, but even if the baby does have health issues, that baby still does not deserve to be killed.
Abortion groups like NARAL have coldly sided with Marlises husband in calling on the hospital to kill Marlise and her baby.
Some people want to decide who lives and who dies based on their personal criteria. If that was allowed, none of our lives would be safe. We simply cannot murder sick or inconvenient people just because we dont want the hassle of caring for them. That is a dangerous road that will only end up unjustly depriving vast numbers of people of their right to life, just as we have seen with the issue of abortion, said Newman.
Just ... sad.
As Bart Simpson would say “It sucks”.
The husband says his wife didn’t want to be kept on life support.
“Husband FORCED Hospital to Cut Pregnant Woman From Life Support, Killing Her Unborn Child”
There fixed it!!!
You know what????
I’m gonna make a bet right now...Husband cremates the body by end of the week.
Who wants to take up that bet?
Husband cremates the bodies>/i> by the end of the week
The Hospital didn’t fight it very hard
How is that relevant? Tragic situation all the way around.
I thought the same thing.
Would the wife have agreed to be kept on life support long enough to allow her baby to survive? Was that scenario ever part of their discussions? Doubt it.
Problem here is that under state law IF she was really brain-dead, life was not being sustained by this treatment. Instead, a corpse was being artificially stimulated to continue blood circulation, etc.
Let us remember that true brain death is very different from the Schiavo case. When the brain actually dies the body begins to deteriorate regardless of what is done to keep it "alive."
This is a very sad situation, obviously. There is a decent argument to be made that an attempt to keep the body of the dead woman functioning long enough for her baby to be born would be appropriate.
But there needs to be some criteria to determine legal death, and I think most will agree that true brain death is the most logical one.
My (limited) understanding of the issue is that true brain death, once achieved, is not something from which anybody ever gets better. This is quite different from various stages of coma and "persistent vegetative state," from which people awaken all the time.
It is of course possible to misdiagnose brain death, but I don't think conservatives or prolifers should get trapped in a position contrary to medical or scientific knowledge that any beating heart must be kept beating.
Terri Shavio’s husband did the same. Cremation destroys the evidence. This whole situation stinks. His wife is hurt and he does not even want to keep her alive till the baby is born? Plus the fact she was hurt while pregnant? Yea if I were a police inspector I’d be all over this like a cheap suit.
Red flags are up all over the place.
She should have written that down somewhere, then.
Until then, hearsay.
“His wife is hurt”
No, his wife is dead
the baby/fetus/whatever was already not going to develop. It had brain, limb, and heart development problems.
I think this was just the hospital insider busybodies trying to attack the law at the expense of the family. Even the author of the law said it did not apply here.
nobody disputes her advanced directed to go.
The hospital is just attacking the law. The media is playing games by not telling the full story with all information on the medical situation.
“But what of Lazarus?”
“the baby/fetus/whatever was already not going to develop. It had brain, limb, and heart development problems.”
Doctors say stuff like that all the time. I for one have learned not to believe them till I see the baby or as they say “the fat lady sings”.
All too often I’ve read stories where women were told to abort a baby because it had “Down Syndrome” but the women chose not to only to find out the baby was normal.
I for one hope they removed the unborn baby and did an autopsy on it. I’d really like to know what it said.
It should clue all couples with DNR requests to discuss and decide on this key issue and include it in the DNR.
Very well said. In addition, when the poor soul collapsed due to a blood clot in her lungs then chances are excellent that the unborn child suffered severe brain damage during the episode and probably would not have survived.
Can a human body that has suffered severe brain damage sustain an unborn child from a nutritional standpoint? Can her body send the proper nutrients to the unborn child? Can artificial feeding of the brain-dead female suffice to ensure a healthy baby? I do not know and neither does anyone else.
It is at the very best a very difficult situation for everyone involved. No one on this thread knows how the husband is suffering at the loss of both his wife AND his child.
I do not remember the exact saying but it says something about.....”Until you walk in my shoes”.
Well actually as her husband it is admissible.
I still doubt it was his child. Looks like we’ll never know...
Of course, there are some who are disappointed that the dead woman's family wasn't compelled by the courts to conduct a macabre medical experiment.
Full statement from JPS Health Network:
“The past eight weeks have been difficult for the Muñoz family, the caregivers
and the entire Tarrant County community, which found itself involved in a sad
situation. JPS Health Network has followed what we believed were the demands of a
state statute. From the onset, JPS has said its role was not to make nor
contest law but to follow it. On Friday, a state district judge ordered the
removal of life-sustaining treatment from Marlise Muñoz. The hospital will
follow the court order.”
Both the hospital and family agreed before Wallace’s ruling that Marlise Muñoz meets
the criteria to be considered brain-dead - which means she is dead both medically
and under Texas law - and that her fetus, at about 23 weeks, could not be
born alive this early in pregnancy.
I always leave room for miracles by the power of God.
But they sure aren’t anything we ought to base our laws on.
Yea, you accuse the husband of murder. You are despicable.
I’m despicable? He’s the one who was in such a hurry to “pull the plug” on his wife and unborn child.
Even if he had noting to do with her being hurt he did in the end kill his wife and unborn child.
My problem with the article is that it constantly uses “scare quotes” around the term “brain-dead” and others, as if there is scientific question as to whether that was her condition.
The Operation Rescue guy’s comments are pretty much over the top. This is a very different case from Terri Schiavo’s, and IMO it certainly does not set a new low in our cultural attitude to death. His claims that this was a “thriving pregnancy” don’t appear to be supported by anything other than speculation. The little I know about such medical conditions makes it pretty darn unlikely to be an accurate statement.
I would have no objection to a husband attempting to keep his wife’s body functioning long enough for their baby to be born, but I don’t think a family or society has any obligation to do so once the mother has actually died.
It’s sad, but it’s not killing.
What are you back pedaling on the murder charge?
Murder is murder. God’s law does not change. I don’t care what lib Federal Judge says. He got away with it here but he will stand before God one day and see his wife and unborn child.
Well, no. The family and the state both agreed prior to the court hearing that she was brain-dead, which under TX law means she was all dead, not just mostly dead.
In such a situation the child will continue to build her/his own spacesuit for life in the air world. Did the child continue to grow from week 13 to the week 22? What was the known condition of the baby at 14 weeks? These questions need answering before concluding motivations and motives. We The People are so lied to nowadays that media can herd US bout on nearly any issue they are told to manipulate.
I'm really wondering why his wife got "hurt" to begin with if you understand what I'm talking about.
In the first place. Do you want to withdraw complaint against the husband for causing her brain death?
Really Sherman it would have killed this man to keep his wife on life support until the baby was due? Really?
I have read what the doctors said about the baby but I’m sorry I will not believe what they say till I see the baby. So many of them either are just wrong or lied in the past. They will say a baby has Down Syndrome to get a woman to have an abortion, but the woman chooses life and the baby is normal!
So I’m sorry I want to see this baby born till I make judgements on anything. Even if this baby had been still born at least we tried. It would have been worth it. Life is always worth it.
Do you know how far developed a human brain is at 13 weeks? Do you know how long the brain continues to grow and organize during development? Your assertion assumes things which are not assumable.
One article I saw from 12/24 quoted the husband as not knowing the health of the unborn child.
“... could not be
born alive this early in pregnancy.” If the unborn child was growing that child was alive and the highlighted sentence is a blatant manipulative lie.
I dont care what lib Federal Judge says.
You do understand that this is a Texas District Court and not a Federal Court
as you indicated. What do you know that makes this judge a liberal other than
you don’t like his current application of Texas State law?
I would like to have an autopsy done on both mother and child, but there may be no requirement under state law that the family be obligated to allow this. And my curiosity isn’t a sufficient reason for them to be required to allow it.
Operation Rescue is over-reaching here. There appears to be no medical doubt this poor woman was brain-dead. The law requires a mother be kept alive till the fetus is viable. It does not require that a corpse be kept functioning in a case like this.
To insist that a law means what you think it ought to mean rather than what it says is to a very considerable extent how we got into our present mess. Living Constitution and all that.
Bad things happen in the world, and laws simply cannot adequately address them all.
Someone yesterday said who appointed this judge and it was not Bush. Yes he’s a lib.
“To insist that a law means what you think it ought to mean ...” Are you trying to make a personal accusation, that I am trying to make a law read the way I want it to? If so, why try to divert this into a flame war? Agenda?
This is a district court of the State of Texas. The Judge was appointed by
Gov. Perry in 2010 to the judgeship and he ran for and was reelected in 2012.
So you have nothing other than this ruling to show his liberal bend.
“The husband says his wife didnt want to be kept on life support.”
MAYBE, but what would she have said just before they pulled the plug? Would a mother want to continue to exist so that her baby might survive? I say her answer would be yes, I choose “LIFE” for my baby.
They had to act quickly because in a couple weeks the baby could be argued to be viable, thus (legally) their own person.
Who are these people that can murder little babies?
It makes me SICK! and outraged.
Terri was brain damaged, this woman was brain dead. In Terri’s case there was a clear financial motive for killing her.
Is there such a motive in this case? For better or worse when you get married you are giving your spouse the power to make decisions like this.