A husband who should have been celebrating his wife's pregnancy has instead found himself in a horrific scenario: His wife, who was 14 weeks pregnant, suffered what was most likely a pulmonary embolism (a blood clot), collapsed, and has been unconscious in the hospital on life support ever since. Erick Munoz and his wife, Marlise, both of whom had worked as EMTs, had discussed situations like this in the past, and Marlse had made it clear she would not want to be kept on life support if she had no quality of life. Erick wants to be true to her wishes. However, Texas law says that as long as there is a fetus involved, the woman must be kept alive.
According to Texas' Health and Safety Code, "A person may not withdraw or withhold life-sustaining treatment under this subchapter from a pregnant patient."
So Marlise is being kept alive by machine until the baby, which is still alive, can be brought into the world.
Erick, however, doesn't think this is the right thing to do. He told WFAA:
I don't agree with this law ... I don't. It's hard to reach the point where you wish your wife's body would stop.
Erick doesn't explain why he would want his wife taken off life support, which would also kill the baby, but the man probably has his reasons. One of them might be that while the mother suffered what could have been an embolism, the baby was without oxygen. So no one knows what kind of damage the baby may have suffered and what kind of condition he or she may be in.
Erick and Marlise already have one child, and bringing another into the world who won't have a mother to care for it, and this child could be severely disabled, well, I don't blame Erick a bit for worrying about how he will manage it. Texas law will probably not step in and offer a full-time caregiver. And even if it does, this is a HUGE burden to put on someone.
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This is a tough decision, but at the end of the day, Erick should get to make the decision about what he wants since he is the one who will have 100 percent of the responsibility. Not the state. How ironic that this is a state that is always blathering about the government staying out of people's lives!
What would you do?
Image via WFAA