Texas Pregnant Woman Ruled Legally Dead TodayBy: Aleyia Dixon - January 24, 2014
In a twist from recent life support legal battles, today a Texas family has won the case to release their loved one from life support.
On November 26th, a 14-week pregnant Marlise Munoz was deemed brain dead from what was presumed to be a pulmonary embolism. ABC News tells us that according to the family’s lawyer, the now 22-week-old embryo is “distinctly abnormal,” citing lower extremity deformities and water on its brain. It is not clear if this was due to Marlise’s affliction, or if the abnormalities were already present.
What makes this situation distinct from cases such as Terri Schiavo and the most recent Jahi McMath case is that Munoz’s family wishes to remove her from life support– but Texas laws prohibited it.
The law states that “a person may not withdraw or withhold life-sustaining treatment under this subchapter from a pregnant patient,” which means that Marlise Munoz was legally appointed to be on life support for the sake of the fetus.
Munoz’s family asserts that Marlise Munoz, a paramedic, clearly expressed that she never wished to be on life support– despite being pregnant as well as already having a 14-month-old child. The ruling today has deemed that the law that kept her organs functioning do not apply to her because by law, she is legally dead.
Jobin Panicker of the Dallas Channel 8 news team live-tweeted the case today, and his descriptions of the Munoz family reactions:
helps one to believe that it does not seem to be a heartless situation of a family wishing to rush a loved one to their death. According to Panicker’s eyewitness account, the Munoz family asserted that they merely wanted the “science experiment” on Marlise Munoz’s body to end.
There was no happy ending for anyone today as the judge declared Marlise Munoz legally dead earlier this evening, but at least the family was granted the opportunity to begin dealing with the closure.
Image via NDN