Current Weather
The Spy FM

Hospital In Texas Removes Life Support From Brain Dead Woman

Filed by KOSU News in US News.
January 26, 2014

A Fort Worth, Texas, woman who was 14 weeks pregnant when she was found unconscious and brain dead after suffering a pulmonary embolism, has been taken off life support after a weeks-long court battle by the hospital to keep the ventilator on.

A ventilator that had kept Marlise Munoz’s heart and lungs functioning for two months was switched off at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, a family attorney said.

State District Judge R.H. Wallace ordered Friday that Munoz be taken off life support because John Peter Smith Hospital had misapplied a state law that prevents the termination of life support to a pregnant woman. Wallace said the law does not apply because the woman had been declared legally dead.

“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,” a hospital statement said. “JPS Health Network has followed what we believed were the demands of a state statute.”

The hospital had acknowledged that Munoz, 33, was brain dead when she was admitted on November 28 and that the fetus she was carrying was no longer viable.

Marlise’s husband, Erick Munoz, a paramedic, sought to have her removed from life support.

“Despite her husband’s repeated request to remove her from life support, the hospital declined, saying it was following a Texas law making it illegal to remove a pregnant patient from life sustaining treatment,” reports Lauren Silverman, of member station KERA.

CNN says:

“In an affidavit filed Thursday in court, … Munoz said little to him was recognizable about his wife. Her bones crack when her stiff limbs move. Her usual scent has been replaced by the ‘smell of death.’ And her once lively eyes have become ‘soulless.’”

“The hospital’s position drew support from demonstrators outside the hospital, some of whom held signs last week that read ‘God stands for life’ and ‘Praying for Baby Munoz and family.’ But others countered with placards bearing messages like ‘Let Marlise rest in peace’ and ‘Respect Marlise’s wishes.’”

[Copyright 2014 NPR]

Leave a Reply

5AM to 9AM Morning Edition

Morning Edition

For more than two decades, NPR's Morning Edition has prepared listeners for the day ahead with two hours of up-to-the-minute news, background analysis, commentary, and coverage of arts and sports.

Listen Live Now!

9AM to 10AM The Takeaway

The Takeaway

A fresh alternative in morning news, "The Takeaway" provides a breadth and depth of world, national and regional news coverage that is unprecedented in public media.

View the program guide!

10AM to 11PM On Point

On Point

On Point unites distinct and provocative voices with passionate discussion as it confronts the stories that are at the center of what is important in the world today. Leaving no perspective unchallenged, On Point digs past the surface and into the core of a subject, exposing each of its real world implications.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center