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arrived at the hospital, he discovered that, according to Texas law, life-sustaining procedures may not be withheld or withdrawn from a pregnant woman, — even if she has an advance health care directive (also called a living will) stipulating that she does not want to be kept alive on a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 (41-50):
strawberryLVR
by on Dec. 21, 2013 at 10:35 AM

Sad, They should have signed paperwork and been prepared for this. Things may be different. nothing means anything anymore though. Everyone finds a way to override everything :(

Debmomto2girls
by Platinum Member on Dec. 21, 2013 at 10:35 AM
2 moms liked this

I disagree.  I never spoke of that while pregnant with either of my girls.  I personally do not know anyone who talks about it while pregnant.  We spoke about it while not pregnant but my feelings would have been different pregnant. 

Quoting canadianmom1974: 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.


coolmommy2x
by Gold Member on Dec. 21, 2013 at 10:37 AM
Nah, that can't be right.

Quoting LauraKW: 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.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Debmomto2girls
by Platinum Member on Dec. 21, 2013 at 10:38 AM
2 moms liked this

This is not that black and white to me. I have very mixed feelings about it. I wouldnot want to be on life support but if I were pregnant I might feel different.

LauraKW
by "Dude!" on Dec. 21, 2013 at 10:41 AM
At 14 weeks all doctors can really tell definitively is if there is a heartbeat.

Quoting mommieof1b4g:

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!!

canadianmom1974
by Gold Member on Dec. 21, 2013 at 10:43 AM
We talked about it, both while I was actually pregnant and just during conversations about it. It seems foolish not to cover that basis. If it's a conversation one is having it seems like a natural part of it to say 'these are my wishes now, but if I were pregnant this is what I want'.

Quoting Debmomto2girls:

I disagree.  I never spoke of that while pregnant with either of my girls.  I personally do not know anyone who talks about it while pregnant.  We spoke about it while not pregnant but my feelings would have been different pregnant. 

Quoting canadianmom1974: 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.


Posted on CafeMom Mobile
MelanieJK
by Silver Member on Dec. 21, 2013 at 10:43 AM
2 moms liked this

The fact that she didn't want to remain on life support forever doesn't mean she wouldn't have wanted to remain on it long enough to give birth.     We really don't know what she wanted in this case.

Debmomto2girls
by Platinum Member on Dec. 21, 2013 at 10:45 AM
1 mom liked this

I do not think it is as common.  I did not think about dying while pregnant. I was healthy with zero health problems. 

Quoting canadianmom1974: We talked about it, both while I was actually pregnant and just during conversations about it. It seems foolish not to cover that basis. If it's a conversation one is having it seems like a natural part of it to say 'these are my wishes now, but if I were pregnant this is what I want'.

Quoting Debmomto2girls:

I disagree.  I never spoke of that while pregnant with either of my girls.  I personally do not know anyone who talks about it while pregnant.  We spoke about it while not pregnant but my feelings would have been different pregnant. 

Quoting canadianmom1974: 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.



LauraKW
by "Dude!" on Dec. 21, 2013 at 10:48 AM
2 moms liked this
It's a proven fact that 100% of fetuses saved through legal manipulation turn out to be God-fearing citizens with loving, financially stable families. No gays and no welfare allowed.

Quoting danigirlglow: 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.
canadianmom1974
by Gold Member on Dec. 21, 2013 at 10:53 AM
I'm a generally very healthy person and don't think about dying at all, but we've still had conversations about our wishes in the event we're suddenly in that situation. One can be hit by a car as easily while pregnant as not, or fall, or have a blood clot cause a stroke, etc.

It's usually the circumstances of a friend or family member, or even an article like this that sparks these conversations. I just don't see the point in having the discussion without covering, if not all, then the biggest bases, like pregnancy.


Quoting Debmomto2girls:

I do not think it is as common.  I did not think about dying while pregnant. I was healthy with zero health problems. 

Quoting canadianmom1974: We talked about it, both while I was actually pregnant and just during conversations about it. It seems foolish not to cover that basis. If it's a conversation one is having it seems like a natural part of it to say 'these are my wishes now, but if I were pregnant this is what I want'.



Quoting Debmomto2girls:

I disagree.  I never spoke of that while pregnant with either of my girls.  I personally do not know anyone who talks about it while pregnant.  We spoke about it while not pregnant but my feelings would have been different pregnant. 

Quoting canadianmom1974: 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.



Posted on CafeMom Mobile
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)

close Join now to connect to
other members!
Connect with Facebook or Sign Up Using Email

Already Joined? LOG IN