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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Texas Father Barred from Taking Pregnant Wife Off Life Support

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 I find this repugnant.  This law absolutely reduces a woman to no more than a forced incubator.


On Nov. 26, Erick Munoz woke to the sound of his year-old son crying and found his 14-weeks-pregnant wife, Marlise, lying on the kitchen floor, blue in the face and without a pulse. 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 said 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 they had discussed many times since.

More on Yahoo: Family Fights to Save Teen Daughter on Life Support

A month later, against his requests, she is still on a ventilator. Not only does Munoz want to honor his wife's wishes, but also he 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 said. 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." Doctors say it's likely that Munoz's wife suffered a pulmonary embolism, and no longer has brain activity.

More on Yahoo: Doctors Vary on Willingness to Talk Hospice

When Munoz 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arrived at the hospital, he discovered that, according to Texas law, life-sustaining procedures may not be withheld or withdrawn from a pregnant woman, — even if she has an advance health care directive (also called a living will) stipulating that she does not want to be kept alive on a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. There are conflicting reports about whether Marlise Munoz had an official DNR (Do Not Resuscitate order), and the family could not be reached for comment. But according to the Center for Women Policy Studies, as of 2012, Texas and 11 other states have automatically invalidated pregnant women'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 told 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 their son-in-law'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 [statute] 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 said he doesn't want to participate in arguments over right-to-life verses pro-choice issues, but instead wishes to honor his wife and inform the public about a little-known law.

Marlise Munoz, at approximately 18 weeks pregnant, 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 the fetus's viability. "Its hard to reach the point where you would wish your wife's body would stop," he said.

http://shine.yahoo.com/parenting/texas-father-barred-taking-pregnant-wife-off-life-200600388.html

by on Dec. 20, 2013 at 9:11 PM
Replies (21-30):
Mommabearbergh
by Gold Member on Dec. 21, 2013 at 1:48 AM
People aren't always adopting mentally disabled children. A great deal of the time the state sends them to counts group homes and gives them crap jobs.

Quoting VinVanMom: Adoption might be a good choice got the father



Quoting Mommabearbergh: A special needs child with two parents is hard but one parent its especially hard. Having a forever child isn't for everyone





Quoting VinVanMom: She might have felt differently pregnant. I wouldn't want life support under normal circumstances but if my baby could live I'd want it to. She isn't bring harmed. He doesn't want up deal w a special needs child.
canadianmom1974
by Gold Member on Dec. 21, 2013 at 2:20 AM
2 moms liked this
She was 14w pregnant with their second child. In the 54 or so total weeks she'd been pregnant I'm sure the subject came up. It was certainly something my husband and I discussed during my pregnancies.

He may not feel up to the challenge of parenting a special needs child, but I think he's more concerned about honouring his wife's wishes.


Quoting VinVanMom: She might have felt differently pregnant. I wouldn't want life support under normal circumstances but if my baby could live I'd want it to. She isn't bring harmed. He doesn't want up deal w a special needs child.
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Its.me.Sam.
by Silver Member on Dec. 21, 2013 at 2:53 AM
3 moms liked this

this. is. atrocious.
her (and her family's) rights and wishes are being completely overridden by the anti-choice legislation.  this is scary and sad and terrifying and wrong wrong wrong. 

Sekirei
by Nari Trickster on Dec. 21, 2013 at 3:47 AM
6 moms liked this

This is vile..

then again, I expect nothing less from the state it's happening in.

rfhsure
by Bronze Member on Dec. 21, 2013 at 3:51 AM
That is disgusting. An already aad story with a worse ending. Its even more upsetting they can't seem to get any legal legs to stand on.

Quoting LauraKW: Even a legally notarized DNR is disregarded for this Incubator Law.



Quoting .Bubbles.: This woman has a right to have her wishes followed through on. To be treated as nothing more than an incubator is disgusting and dehumanizing. The state has no right to override the wishes of her husband especially when her parents are saying he is only following her wishes.
babygirl4326
by Member on Dec. 21, 2013 at 3:56 AM
Bump
mommieof1b4g
by on Dec. 21, 2013 at 4:08 AM
3 moms liked this

Is'nt there a test they can do on the baby to see how the baby is? Honestly I get her wishes to never be on lifesupport BUT would she have changed her mind if it ment saving the life of her child? Would she have wanted to do it, so her baby could live? Obviously we will never know. But what if that it a perfectly healthy baby inside her body? There has to be something they can do to test the baby!! I don't ever want to be on lifesupport, but if I was pregnant & it ment saving the life of my child then you better keep those machines on!!

waldorfmom
by Bronze Member on Dec. 21, 2013 at 4:14 AM
4 moms liked this

Have we actually reached such a low that we could not care less that the baby will die?

If one believes that human beings are only physical animals, and that there is no eternal human spirit, then one believes that it makes no difference to the mother ... and will make ALL the difference to the person to whom she is giving life.

If one believes that the mother is indeed more than merely physical, and disliking the life-support, then one is valuing and respecting her ongoing awareness ... ... and one is then in a position to value and respect the awareness of the baby all the more !

Either way, I FAR prefer to have our medical system erring on the side of life rather than sliding further down the slippery slope of not valuing human life, of erasing the taboo against killing, and leading to selective murder. (a slope which many people have already slid down)

Time was, there would be automatic indignation at the man for even considering for a MOMENT snuffing out the life of the baby ...

Mommy2-3181
by on Dec. 21, 2013 at 4:24 AM
3 moms liked this

Wow so much wrong that statement 

Quoting waldorfmom:

Have we actually reached such a low that we could not care less that the baby will die?

If one believes that human beings are only physical animals, and that there is no eternal human spirit, then one believes that it makes no difference to the mother ... and will make ALL the difference to the person to whom she is giving life.

If one believes that the mother is indeed more than merely physical, and disliking the life-support, then one is valuing and respecting her ongoing awareness ... ... and one is then in a position to value and respect the awareness of the baby all the more !

Either way, I FAR prefer to have our medical system erring on the side of life rather than sliding further down the slippery slope of not valuing human life, of erasing the taboo against killing, and leading to selective murder. (a slope which many people have already slid down)

Time was, there would be automatic indignation at the man for even considering for a MOMENT snuffing out the life of the baby ...


danigirlglow
by on Dec. 21, 2013 at 5:00 AM
1 mom liked this
That is awful. It just shows how ridiculous this country, and especially the southern part, particularly Texas, values the life of a fetus over the rights and life of the born woman. What if this baby ends up gay? Or ends up on welfare? Then it's screwed. But as long as it is unborn, it's the most important thing in the equation.
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