Brain-Dead Woman Deserves to Die in Peace Even Though She's Pregnant (VIDEO)

A man who wants his pregnant wife taken off life support may finally get his way. Erick Munoz of Fort Worth, Texas, was distraught when his pregnant wife suffered a pulmonary embolism and collapsed while pregnant with their second child. Doctors have pronounced her brain dead, but the hospital refuses to take her life support -- which is what Erick says his wife, a former paramedic, would have wanted -- because Texas law probits ending a life if there is a potentially viable fetus involved. Erick's wife, Marlise, is now 20 weeks pregnant. And he and Marlise's mother are suing the hospital to have her taken off the machines keeping her and her baby alive.

Erick found Marlise collapsed on their kitchen floor when she was 14 weeks pregnant. Doctors believe she suffered a blood clot. She had been without oxygen on the floor for at least an hour. Erick knew that Marlise never wanted to be kept on a ventilator because he says they had discussed that before, both of them having seen things "out in the field" in their jobs as paramedics. They had also seen a relative die after being on machines and didn't want the same for themselves.

She has now been declared clinically brain dead, yet the hospital will not take her off life support because of the Texas law, which says that if a fetus is involved, life support can't be taken away. Right now, the hospital plans to keep Marlise on life support until she miscarries or she reaches 24 weeks, at which point the hospital can start labor, do a C-section, or see if she can carry the baby full term.

Reportedly, the baby so far still has a normal heartbeat, but doctors have no idea how much damage the baby may have suffered. Erick told ABC News:

They don't know how long the baby was without nutrients and oxygen. But I'm aware what challenges I might face ahead.

The hospital says it welcomes the lawsuit and a chance to figure out what to do in court. However, by the time a decision is made, the baby might be born. And in what condition, nobody knows. The hospital has probably not made an effort to find out, since it would not impact their ability to end the pregnancy.
Does anyone find it surreal that healthy women can abort a fetus at 14 weeks, but apparently not one who is brain dead?!
It's very unfair for a state to take over the wishes of a spouse. The husband is well aware that this baby might be completely disabled, and now his life is going to be taken up with that. I thought Texas was supposed to be all about individual rights -- but not if those rights trump a fetus, apparently.
Erick, Marlise's mother, and the couple's other child have already been through enough. Marlise should be allowed to go peacefully, as these were her wishes.
What do you think should be done?

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Image via ABC News

in the news


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

Lucki... Luckicharmz

Sure they'll force life on her to continue the pregnancy, but guaranteed soon as that baby comes out and there's any one problem with it because of the nutrient / oxygen deprivation the hospital and governments answer will be "NOT OUR PROBLEM!"

Cari Poissant

I dont understand why he would not want his baby to come to full term if it can??

sassy... sassykat122

Two things. I guess if you think that 60 years ago the mother couldn't have been kept alive and neither would the baby. But that is the miracle of modern medicine. If it were me i would want my husband to keep me alive to bring that child into this world.

winte... winterbaby10

That's what having a living will is for that way if something happens where your on life support your spouse or whoever can make a decision about what to do with you.

Jacee... Jacee2348

^^Texas law would've trumped the living will if they had one.^^

nonmember avatar anon

I'm not sure if I read the other article wrong but that article about the 13 yr old girl that is declared brain dead during a dental surgery, I read that her body might start to deteriorate because they are keeping her alive. So won't the same happen here? I might be wrong but if this is the case that's sad.

nonmember avatar andie

@winterbaby, it wouldn't matter in this case because the woman was pregnant. Texas law trumps the living will. This is just so wrong on so many levels. Let the poor woman and her fetus die in peace.

the4m... the4mutts

I dont think it's anyone's business but the husband's. He would know his wife's wishes, and they should honor that

Mark Cox

so the folks at stir saying the total opposite of what they were saying bout the 13 year old..sad....let them both go

nonmember avatar Kristi

Like I wondered the last time you think they discussed her wishes while she was pregnant or before?

1-10 of 35 comments 1234 Last