Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Texas Father Barred from Taking Pregnant Wife Off Life Support

Posted by   + Show Post

 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arrived at the hospital, he discovered that, according to Texas law, life-sustaining procedures may not be withheld or withdrawn from a pregnant woman, — even if she has an advance health care directive (also called a living will) stipulating that she does not want to be kept alive on a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 (31-40):
danigirlglow
by on Dec. 21, 2013 at 5:00 AM
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.
danigirlglow
by on Dec. 21, 2013 at 5:02 AM
That's ridiculous. She isn't being harmed? Her wishes are being ignored, and she has been reduced to nothing more than an incubator. Of course he doesn't want a special needs child, there is no way of knowing how severely damaged the child will be. Adoption isn't a good solution, not many people want special needs kids, or have you never looked at the foster care websites the list all available children?

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.
pixie92
by Platinum Member on Dec. 21, 2013 at 5:32 AM
6 moms liked this
There is a lot wrong in these thoughts but my biggest issue is how are we valuing life? When we force life to continue we are not valuing anything because part of life is death. We are forcing a body to stay alive when it obviously was done. Now we are forcing a fetus to also live when it obviously wasn't ment to and if it was ment to it would be a miracle baby and live outside the woman's body. We are playing God daily by forcing bodies to live when they are ment to die. There is no value in life when we prevent life from doing its job.

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 ...

MrsSamMerlotte
by Bronze Member on Dec. 21, 2013 at 9:52 AM
1 mom liked this

This is sick.  Maybe I could at least understand their arguement if the fetus was at an age where it could be viable outside of the womb.  I wouldnt agree with it, but I might be able to understand where they are coming from.  But either way, no one should be on life support against their will.  And there is a good chance that this baby will be severely brain damaged.  Can this man handle that right after losing his wife?  That is a lot to handle with two parents.  He shouldnt have to watch his wife be treated as a human incubator and then be left with a child who may be extremely brain damaged.  Are they going to provide help for that, since they are basically thrusting this on him now?

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.


coolmommy2x
by Gold Member on Dec. 21, 2013 at 9:57 AM
You know them?

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.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
coolmommy2x
by Gold Member on Dec. 21, 2013 at 10:03 AM
3 moms liked this
I can't believe this hasn't been on CM before now. Oh wait, everyone is too busy standing up for Phil Robertson.

I feel so sad for this family. I can't imagine what they're going through.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Woodbabe
by Woodie on Dec. 21, 2013 at 10:20 AM
4 moms liked this

You act as if death is somehow unnatural and wrong. If you believe in the eternal human spirit then you know this unborn's life will go on. But how can you know if this was this child's destiny anyway? If we didn't have the technology this woman's body wouldn't be on life support. What if we're keeping HER spirit here, and that of her baby, against the Will of God? He obviously was trying to bring them Home and Mankind is playing God and preventing it. 

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 ...


 Sexy If its unladylike, fattening or fun, I'm in!
  

LauraKW
by "Dude!" on Dec. 21, 2013 at 10:22 AM
2 moms liked this
Or more than likely this man knows his wife better than you do and he knows what was in her heart.

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.
TCgirlatheart
by TC on Dec. 21, 2013 at 10:26 AM
That is just terrible. How sad.
jaxTheMomm
by Platinum Member on Dec. 21, 2013 at 10:31 AM

This is highly disturbing.

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)