Texas Hospital Ends Life Support for Brain-Dead Pregnant Woman
On Sunday, a pregnant, brain-dead woman was taken off life support in compliance with a judge's orders. Marlise Muñoz collapsed from a presumed pulmonary embolism in November when she was 14 weeks pregnant and put on life support against her family's wishes. On Friday, a district judge told John Peter Smith Hospital that it had until 5:00 p.m. Monday to disconnect Muñoz from the machines that kept her body working.
Although neither Muñoz nor her husband had signed a Do Not Resucitate form, the husband maintains that she never wanted to be put on life support. "We know what her wishes were," he said. As Bustle reported:
Both hospital and family agreed that Muñoz was brain-dead, but the case continued due to the hospital's insistence that it was following the law. In Friday's ruling, the judge determined that the hospital was not following the spirit of the law but misapplying it. By Friday, it was also clear that the 22-week-old fetus was nonviable and "distinctly abnormal".
The hospital did not issue a decision on whether it would end Muñoz's life support immediately after the ruling. But on Sunday it issued a statement indicating that it would comply with the order, though not clarifying what would be done. Said the statement,
Muñoz's family confirmed later on Sunday that she had been disconnected earlier that morning.