Texas Judge Orders Pregnant Woman Off Life Support
The tragic case of Marlise Muñoz, the brain-dead Texas woman who’s been on life support against her wishes since November, is nearing an end. On Friday, federal judge ordered that the John Peter Smith Hospital disconnect Muñoz from life support by 5:00 pm local time Monday. Muñoz suffered a pulmonary embolism in November while 14 weeks pregnant, and was subsequently pronounced legally dead. Muñoz had previously said that she never wanted to be kept on life support, and her husband and parents agreed, but the hospital has been refusing to disconnect her. As Bustle reported:
Hospital officials argued that their hands were tied by the state law protecting the unborn child. The Texas Advance Directives Act explains, ”A person may not withdraw or withhold life-sustaining treatment under this subchapter from a pregnant patient.”
The case raised several questions: To what extent can the government control an individual’s end-of life care? How does a fetus affect these decisions? What elements help constitute whether a person is dead or alive? Critics have weighed in on the issue, with heavy support on both sides of the debate.
On Twitter, the reaction was predictably divided. Many heralded the decision...
The latest Tweets and replies from (((TTB(v)JD))) (@tryingtobeaDr). CT1, future CAMHS. MRCPCH. @OverTheWallCamp @Genderintell volunteer. Carer. Feminist. ❤️NHS, mental health, child health, Quality Improvement. LGBTQ+. Own views. UK— (@tryingtobeadr) #
Texas did what was right for Marlise Muñoz by taking her off life support. May she now rest in peace.— (@agvwrites) #
If you're spooling up to argue against Marlise Munoz's family's ability to decide end of life care per her wishes, don't. Nobody likes you.— (@andreagrimes) #
...while others were outraged.
BREAKING: Judge orders #FortWorth hospital to let #ErickMunoz kill his kid, despite state law protecting the baby: http://t.co/TLmqrNwq1r— (@xplant) #
So sad. 1 dead mom and now we will watch them kill her baby. Judge orders hosp to remove life support from #Munoz http://t.co/QrVzZxLBVy— (@kristanhawkins) #
BREAKING: TX Judge orders Hospital kill M Muñoz & her unborn child. #tcot #latism— (@rairojasii) #
A lot of the opposition seemed to be premised on the mistaken belief that the fetus might survive the ordeal and be carried to term. But that's incorrect; in fact, the judge issued his ruling in part because lawyers for the hospital admitted that the fetus has no chance of surviving regardless of whether Muñoz remains on life support or not.
The latest Tweets from Leah B. (@circlecitystyle): "Hi y'all. I'm over at @LibRedneckDiva now. <3"— (@circlecitystyle) #