Texas Father Barred from Taking Pregnant Wife Off Life Support


Sal
#1
On November 26, Erick Munoz woke to the sound of his 14-month-old son crying and found his pregnant wife, Marlise, lying on the kitchen floor, blue in the face and without a pulse. As a firefighter and paramedic, Munoz called 911 and performed CPR to no avail.



When they arrived at the John Peter Smith Hospital (JPS) in Fort Worth, Texas, he thought he would have to make an agonizing decision: refuse life support even though that meant losing both his wife and his future child. Munoz says in a WFAA News report that four years ago, when Marlise's brother was killed in an accident, she told him that she would never want to be on life support-something that they had discussed many times since.




A month later, against his requests, she is still on a ventilator. Not only does Munoz want to honor his wife's intentions, he also believes that the fetus she is carrying has been seriously harmed. "I don't know how long she was there prior to me finding her," he says. Munoz, who could not be reached for comment, wrote on WFAA's Facebook page, "All I know is that she was without oxygen long enough for her to have massive brain swelling. I unfortunately know what that type of damage could do to a child during crucial developmental time."




When he first arrived at the hospital, he discovered that, according to Texas law, life-sustaining procedures may not be withheld or withdrawn from a pregnant woman-even if she has an advance health care directive (also called a living will) stipulating that she does not want to be kept alive on a machine. According to the Center for Women Policy Studies, as of 2012, eleven other states also automatically invalidate a pregnant woman's advance directives to refrain from using extraordinary measures to keep them alive and others have slightly less restrictive but similar laws. A spokesperson from the hospital tells Yahoo Shine, "Our responsibility is to be a good corporate citizen while also providing quality care for our patients. At all times, JPS will follow the law as it applies to healthcare in the state of Texas."



Marlise Munoz's mother and father say they support Munoz's request to take their daughter off life support. "She absolutely DID NOT EVER want to be connected to Life Support," her mother, Lynne Machado, wrote on WFAA's Facebook page. "This issue is not about Pro Choice/Pro Life. Our intent is purely one of education about how this Statue null and voids any woman's DNR [if she is] pregnant. We know our daughter well enough, after numerous discussions about DNR, that she would NEVER EVER consent to being hooked up to Life Support." While the family's tragic situation hits a nerve in a state where abortion debates rage, Munoz also says he doesn't want to participate in arguing over right to life or pro choice issues, but instead, to honor his wife and inform the public about a little-known law.
Marlise Munoz remains unresponsive and her husband describes her as "simply a shell." Doctors check the fetal heartbeat daily, but Munoz doesn't think the testing is sufficient to measure its viability. "Its hard to reach the point where you would wish your wife's body would stop," he says.



Yahoo!


a bizarre case


 
SLM
+2
#2
A very sad and tragic situation.
 
Sal
#3
Yes. I can't understand what they are trying to achieve.
 
gerryh
+1
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by SalView Post

Yes. I can't understand what they are trying to achieve.


They are trying to save the baby. Obviously the "father" doesn't give a rats a$$ about the baby and would prefer to see them both die.
 
shadowshiv
+1
#5
If the baby is born with a number of health defects due to what happened to the mother, who would be required to pay the medical bills? Would it be Texas since they were the ones who said the wife would remain on life support or would it be the father?
 
Tecumsehsbones
+1
#6
Texas doesn't allow the government to intrude on private family decisions. For that matter, "government interference" is the usual reason cited by Texans (including their governor) for secession.
 
karrie
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

Texas doesn't allow the government to intrude on private family decisions. For that matter, "government interference" is the usual reason cited by Texans (including their governor) for secession.







This article kind of flies in the face of that, since it's a law specific to Texas, not the federal government, that is interfering.
 
Tecumsehsbones
+1
#8
Ya think?
 
karrie
+1
#9
k gotcha.
 
B00Mer
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by gerryhView Post

They are trying to save the baby. Obviously the "father" doesn't give a rats a$$ about the baby and would prefer to see them both die.

Exactly ...

Texas Rules..
 
damngrumpy
+2
#11
What a hell of a mess. The family vs society and where you live makes all the
difference I guess. wonderful how a government can overturn a directive that
the mother herself wished for. She does not want to be on life support. the
government has taken control of her body in this case and that troubles me.
Then again it opens to old argument about end of life situations too does it not.
At what point does the government take control of your life or what's left of it.
And what control should they have in any event?
 
Sal
+1
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by damngrumpyView Post

What a hell of a mess. The family vs society and where you live makes all the
difference I guess. wonderful how a government can overturn a directive that
the mother herself wished for. She does not want to be on life support. the
government has taken control of her body in this case and that troubles me.
Then again it opens to old argument about end of life situations too does it not.
At what point does the government take control of your life or what's left of it.
And what control should they have in any event?

this will not end well
 
B00Mer
+1
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by damngrumpyView Post

What a hell of a mess. The family vs society and where you live makes all the
difference I guess. wonderful how a government can overturn a directive that
the mother herself wished for. She does not want to be on life support. the
government has taken control of her body in this case and that troubles me.
Then again it opens to old argument about end of life situations too does it not.
At what point does the government take control of your life or what's left of it.
And what control should they have in any event?

What a SELFISH statement, there is an unborn child growing in her.. I doubt she would want to be "murdered" before the child has been born.
 
Goober
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by B00MerView Post

What a SELFISH statement, there is an unborn child growing in her.. I doubt she would want to be "murdered" before the child has been born.

Does anyone have timelines on how long she went without breathing- damage to the child she is carrying- Nope- Family does though.
 
taxslave
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by B00MerView Post

What a SELFISH statement, there is an unborn child growing in her.. I doubt she would want to be "murdered" before the child has been born.

If she went more than 4 minutes without oxygen the child would be better off not being born. At the moment it is not even a child.
 
B00Mer
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by GooberView Post

Does anyone have timelines on how long she went without breathing- damage to the child she is carrying- Nope- Family does though.

So does the state, and I'm sure the doctors at JPS are qualified enough to know if there child will have been damaged.

Quote: Originally Posted by taxslaveView Post

If she went more than 4 minutes without oxygen the child would be better off not being born. At the moment it is not even a child.

Well I see you have no issue with abortion.. it's always the easy way out for a man.
 
Goober
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by B00MerView Post

So does the state, and I'm sure the doctors at JPS are qualified enough to know if there child will have been damaged.



Well I see you have no issue with abortion.. it's always the easy way out for a man.

Really - From the article.They are adhering to law.
"Our responsibility is to be a good corporate citizen while also providing quality care for our patients. At all times, JPS will follow the law as it applies to healthcare in the state of Texas."
 
taxslave
+1
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by B00MerView Post

So does the state, and I'm sure the doctors at JPS are qualified enough to know if there child will have been damaged.



Well I see you have no issue with abortion.. it's always the easy way out for a man.

It has nothing to do with an easy way out . It is about reality. Something religious fanatics know nothing about.
 
B00Mer
+3
#19  Top Rated Post
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslaveView Post

It has nothing to do with an easy way out . It is about reality. Something religious fanatics know nothing about.

Yeah, there ya go, blame religious fanatics lol

I'm personally not very religious myself, last time I went to church was 4 years ago.. and I still do not believe in abortion..

We have been become a society of casual sex, self gratification with no personal responsibility for our actions.
 
damngrumpy
#20
You might be non religious or not very religious but the intent of this Texas
law want drafted from a religious view and therefore its about religion.
It is time religion conformed to the law and not the other way round. Religious
groups as groups should be under the same law as everyone else no
exceptions period. Personally I do understand you are not in favour of abortion.
I have twenty three grandchildren and four great grandchildren and I would
not want to chose any for the fate of abortion however the decision would not
be mine it would be the prospective mothers decision that is the law.
 
Goober
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by B00MerView Post

Yeah, there ya go, blame religious fanatics lol

I'm personally not very religious myself, last time I went to church was 4 years ago.. and I still do not believe in abortion..

We have been become a society of casual sex, self gratification with no personal responsibility for our actions.

And what was this law based upon. And what does the last sentence have to do with the OP.
And I am not a big fan of abortion either.
 
taxslave
+1
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by B00MerView Post

Yeah, there ya go, blame religious fanatics lol

I'm personally not very religious myself, last time I went to church was 4 years ago.. and I still do not believe in abortion..

We have been become a society of casual sex, self gratification with no personal responsibility for our actions.

You have left the problem here behind. This is not about anyone wanting an abortion because some guy couldn't be bothered to pull out in time. There is not chance of the woman surviving and very little chance of a healthy baby being born. Are you willing to help both physically and financially to raise a child that is a vegetable and care for that person until old age?
 
Tecumsehsbones
+1
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by B00MerView Post

So does the state, and I'm sure the doctors at JPS are qualified enough to know if there child will have been damaged.



Well I see you have no issue with abortion.. it's always the easy way out for a man.

The easy way out is to not have money. Under Section 166.046 of the Texas Code, a hospital can take a person off life support if the person can't pay.
 
Goober
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

The easy way out is to not have money. Under Section 166.046 of the Texas Code, a hospital can take a person off life support if the person can't pay.

Sec. 166.046. PROCEDURE IF NOT EFFECTUATING A DIRECTIVE OR TREATMENT DECISION. (a) If an attending physician refuses to honor a patient's advance directive or a health care or treatment decision made by or on behalf of a patient, the physician's refusal shall be reviewed by an ethics or medical committee. The attending physician may not be a member of that committee. The patient shall be given life-sustaining treatment during the review.

(b) The patient or the person responsible for the health care decisions of the individual who has made the decision regarding the directive or treatment decision:

(1) may be given a written description of the ethics or medical committee review process and any other policies and procedures related to this section adopted by the health care facility;

(2) shall be informed of the committee review process not less than 48 hours before the meeting called to discuss the patient's directive, unless the time period is waived by mutual agreement;

(3) at the time of being so informed, shall be provided:

(A) a copy of the appropriate statement set forth in Section 166.052; and

(B) a copy of the registry list of health care providers and referral groups that have volunteered their readiness to consider accepting transfer or to assist in locating a provider willing to accept transfer that is posted on the website maintained by the Texas Health Care Information Council under Section 166.053; and

(4) is entitled to:

(A) attend the meeting; and

(B) receive a written explanation of the decision reached during the review process.

(c) The written explanation required by Subsection (b)(2)(B) must be included in the patient's medical record.

(d) If the attending physician, the patient, or the person responsible for the health care decisions of the individual does not agree with the decision reached during the review process under Subsection (b), the physician shall make a reasonable effort to transfer the patient to a physician who is willing to comply with the directive. If the patient is a patient in a health care facility, the facility's personnel shall assist the physician in arranging the patient's transfer to:

(1) another physician;

(2) an alternative care setting within that facility; or

(3) another facility.

(e) If the patient or the person responsible for the health care decisions of the patient is requesting life-sustaining treatment that the attending physician has decided and the review process has affirmed is inappropriate treatment, the patient shall be given available life-sustaining treatment pending transfer under Subsection (d). The patient is responsible for any costs incurred in transferring the patient to another facility. The physician and the health care facility are not obligated to provide life-sustaining treatment after the 10th day after the written decision required under Subsection (b) is provided to the patient or the person responsible for the health care decisions of the patient unless ordered to do so under Subsection (g).

(e-1) If during a previous admission to a facility a patient's attending physician and the review process under Subsection (b) have determined that life-sustaining treatment is inappropriate, and the patient is readmitted to the same facility within six months from the date of the decision reached during the review process conducted upon the previous admission, Subsections (b) through (e) need not be followed if the patient's attending physician and a consulting physician who is a member of the ethics or medical committee of the facility document on the patient's readmission that the patient's condition either has not improved or has deteriorated since the review process was conducted.

(f) Life-sustaining treatment under this section may not be entered in the patient's medical record as medically unnecessary treatment until the time period provided under Subsection (e) has expired.

(g) At the request of the patient or the person responsible for the health care decisions of the patient, the appropriate district or county court shall extend the time period provided under Subsection (e) only if the court finds, by a preponderance of the evidence, that there is a reasonable expectation that a physician or health care facility that will honor the patient's directive will be found if the time extension is granted.

(h) This section may not be construed to impose an obligation on a facility or a home and community support services agency licensed under Chapter 142 or similar organization that is beyond the scope of the services or resources of the facility or agency. This section does not apply to hospice services provided by a home and community support services agency licensed under Chapter 142.
 
B00Mer
+1
#25
Well Goober cited the legal aspect of this case..

Neither you nor I know if this baby is going to be healthy or not .. Let the child be born and well will know then.. Could be the next President to the USA, or grows up to cure cancer..

Yes there is a chance the child will have medical problems, does that make him/her any less of a person.. that would be nice a society that executes citizen who have health issues .. well that should solve the unemployment problem in the USA.??

https://www.npeu.ox.ac.uk/downloads/...g-PIL-2010.pdf
 
Tecumsehsbones
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by B00MerView Post

Yes there is a chance the child will have medical problems, does that make him/her any less of a person.. that would be nice a society that executes citizen who have health issues .. well that should solve the unemployment problem in the USA.??

Nope, in Texas they only execute citizens who have money issues.
 
spaminator
#27
Texas judge declares pregnant woman dead, orders hospital remove life support
Jana J. Pruet, REUTERS
First posted: Friday, January 24, 2014 05:39 PM EST | Updated: Friday, January 24, 2014 07:27 PM EST
FORT WORTH, Texas - A Texas judge on Friday ordered a Fort Worth hospital to remove a brain-dead pregnant woman from life support, after her husband argued the fetus she has been forced to carry under state law is withering in her lifeless body.
The judge ruled that Marlise Munoz, now about 22 weeks pregnant, is dead. She has been on life support in a hospital since Nov. 26 after suffering what her husband, Erick, believes was a pulmonary embolism.
District Judge R.H. Wallace gave John Peter Smith Hospital until Monday at 5 p.m. U.S. Central Time (2300 GMT) to remove the ventilator.
"The defendants are ordered to pronounce Mrs. Munoz dead and remove the ventilator and all other 'life-sustaining' treatment from the body of Marlise Munoz," the judgment read.
Under Texas law, a person may not withdraw or withhold life-sustaining treatment from a pregnant patient, even if there is a "do not resuscitate" request from the patient or if the family of the patient seeks to end life support.
Lawyers for Munoz had argued that she was clinically dead, could no longer be considered a pregnant women and that the fetus she was carrying was severely damaged.
Erick Munoz broke down in tears as the judge read the ruling. His lawyer Heather King and Marlise Munoz's mother and father were also crying and hugged Erick for several minutes after court has adjourned.
They did not speak to media, who packed the courtroom.
Lawyers for the hospital had argued they were complying with a law that was intended to protect unborn children.
"JPS Health Network appreciates the potential impact of the consequences of the order on all parties involved and will be consulting with the Tarrant County District Attorney's office," the hospital said in a statement.
The couple are both paramedics and have made it known to each other that they do not wish to be kept on life support, Erick said.
Attorneys for Munoz have said the parents of Marlise agreed with her husband's request to turn off the ventilator.
The lawyers also provided medical records they said show that the fetus suffered from oxygen deprivation and appears to have deformed lower extremities.
Erick found his wife unconscious on the kitchen floor in late November when she was 14 weeks pregnant and rushed her to a hospital.
In July, Texas Governor Rick Perry signed into law tough new restrictions on abortion, including a ban after 20 weeks of pregnancy, marking one of the biggest victories in a decade for opponents of the procedure in the United States.
Outside the courthouse, a handful of supporters carried signs that read "Let Marlise Munoz Rest in Peace".
"There's nothing happy about today. It's a sad situation all the way around," attorney King said.
"We are relieved that Erick Munoz can move forward with the process of burying his wife," King said.
Texas judge declares pregnant woman dead, orders hospital remove life support | World | News | Toronto Sun
 
spaminator
#28
Brain-dead pregnant woman removed from life support
Jana J. Pruet, Reuters
First posted: Sunday, January 26, 2014 01:39 PM EST | Updated: Monday, January 27, 2014 12:06 AM EST
FORT WORTH, Texas – A Texas hospital removed a brain-dead pregnant woman from life support on Sunday in line with a court order, ending a battle with her husband who argued the fetus she had been forced to carry was withering inside her lifeless body, the family's lawyers said.
Marlise Munoz, who was about 22 weeks pregnant, had been on life support in the hospital in Fort Worth since Nov. 26 after suffering what her husband believes was a pulmonary embolism. Her husband, Erick Munoz, had sought to remove her from life support.
But Texas law that says life-sustaining treatment cannot be withdrawn or withheld from a pregnant patient, despite a "do not resuscitate" request from the patient or a request from the family, and the hospital thus declined to remove life support.
A judge on Friday sided with the family in finding that Marlise Munoz was already legally dead and ordering the John Peter Smith Hospital to remove her ventilator, setting a Monday deadline.
Heather King, a lawyer for the Munoz family, said in a statement on Sunday that life support had been removed and Marlise Munoz's body released to her husband, who had found her unconscious on the kitchen floor when she was 14 weeks pregnant and rushed her to the hospital.
"May Marlise Munoz finally rest in peace, and her family find the strength to complete what has been an unbearably long and arduous journey," the lawyer's statement said, adding the family would now proceed "with the somber task of laying Marlise Munoz's body to rest, and grieving over the great loss that has been suffered."
In seeking to have Munoz disconnected from life support, lawyers for the family had argued that she was clinically dead, could no longer be considered a pregnant women and that the fetus she was carrying was severely damaged.
The couple are both paramedics and have made it known to each other that they do not wish to be kept on life support, Erick Munoz said. Attorneys for Munoz have said the parents of Marlise agreed with her husband's request to turn off the ventilator.
The lawyers also provided medical records they said show that the fetus suffered from oxygen deprivation and appears to have deformed lower extremities.
JPS Health Network, which runs the hospital, said it could not confirm that it had withdrawn life support, citing privacy policy. The hospital had said earlier that it would remove "life-sustaining" treatment, but did not say when it would act.
Lawyers for the hospital had argued they were complying with a law that was intended to protect unborn children.
"The past eight weeks have been difficult for the Munoz family, the caregivers and the entire Tarrant County community, which found itself involved in a sad situation," the hospital's statement said.
In July, Texas Governor Rick Perry signed into law tough new restrictions on abortion, including a ban after 20 weeks of pregnancy, marking one of the biggest victories in a decade for opponents of the procedure in the United States.
Brain-dead pregnant woman removed from life support | World | News | Toronto Sun
 
Tecumsehsbones
#29
Well, at least she didn't have an abortion. Coz that would be all horrible and stuff.
 
Blackleaf
#30
Quote: Originally Posted by damngrumpyView Post

the government has taken control of her body

Because she's PREGNANT. Her wanting to be taken off life support whilst a living human being is inside her is of the highest order of selfishness. She seems to think more of herself than of her baby. Sadly, in this day and age, too many women are of the opinion that they can just murder their unborn children at will just to suit themselves.
 
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