The heartbreaking case of Marlise Munoz, the brain dead pregnant woman who has been kept on life support for six weeks against her family's wishes, may soon near an end. Friday a Texas judge demanded the J.P.S. Health Network, which runs John Peter Smith Hospital, acede to the request of husband Erick Munoz to let his wife go. And now, it seems the hospital is finally going to listen to the pregnant woman's family.
They're only six weeks late in helping this poor family.
Both EMTs, the Munozes had discussed end-of-life-care before a pulmonary embolism rendered her brain dead when she was 14 weeks pregnant. Erick said his wife did not wish to be kept alive via artificial means. But J.P.S. has put up a fight from the beginning, and there was a worry that even Friday's judgment would not be enough.
The hospital has maintained that Marlise must remain on the machines because of a Texas law requiring life-sustaining treatment for pregnant women, despite the fact that she is brain dead and despite news that the Munoz fetus suffers from severe abnormalities unrelated to Marlise's condition.
But a hospital spokesperson has come out to tell media that J.P.S. will follow the judge's ruling, noting, "From the onset, J.P.S. has said its role was not to make nor contest law, but to follow it."
The hospital has until 5 p.m. Monday to take Marlise Munoz off the machines and allow her husband and 15-month-old son Mateo to move on as best they can after her death.
My heart goes out to them. It's a terrible decision to have to make, but it's only been made that much more terrible by this hospital's lack of respect for Marlise's wishes and her husband's too.
What do you think of the hospital's statement?
Image via daveynin/Flickr