Texas Hospital Complies With Court Order To Remove Brain Dead Woman From Life Support

Texas Hospital Complies With Court Order To Remove Brain Dead Woman From Life Support

John Peter Smith Hospital, in Fort Worth, Texas, complied with a court order to remove a pregnant, brain dead woman from life support after 2 long months. – Photo from BBC World News

After two long, heartbreaking months, the Munoz family’s ordeal is finally over. The body of Marlise Munoz, which has been in a Texas hospital since late November 2013, was finally removed from life support. On January 26, 2013 at 11:30 am, John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, complied the court order to remove the brain-dead woman from life support.

May Marlise Muñoz finally rest in peace.

Attorneys for the family of Marlise Munoz released the following statement:

“The Muñoz and Machado families will now proceed with the somber task of laying Marlise Muñoz’s body to rest, and grieving over the great loss that has been suffered. May Marlise Muñoz finally rest in peace, and her family find the strength to complete what has been an unbearably long and arduous journey.”

How could the state force life support when the family did not want it?

The case of Marlise Munoz shed light on a Texas law that prevents life support from being withheld or denied from a pregnant woman. According to the New York Times, 31 states currently have similar laws, which restrict what doctors can do in cases where a terminally ill women is pregnant.

There are 12 states that enforce these types of laws, in spite of the wishes of the woman or her family. Texas is among the states with most restrictive laws, requiring that life-support be used no matter how far along fetal development is. The information is based on a August, 2012 report, from the Center For Women Policy studies.

The Texas law did far more harm than good.

Mrs. Munoz body was placed on life support, against the wishes of herself and her family. Her husband Erick Munoz filed a motion last week, asking the court to order that his wife be taken off life support. Judge R.H. Wallace granted the motion, and gave the hospital until 5 pm on Monday to appeal or comply with the order.

The fetus had only reached a 14 week gestational age, at the time Mrs. Munoz was placed on life support. Last week, the family’s attorney’s disclosed that the fetus had developed abnormally. In a statement made on behalf of the family, attorneys Jessica Janicek and Heather King wrote:

“Quite sadly, this information is not surprising due to the fact that the fetus, after being deprived of oxygen for an indeterminate length of time, is gestating within a dead and deteriorating body, as a horrified family looks on in absolute anguish, distress and sadness.”

The hospital’s decision to comply with Judge Wallace’s order marks the end of a long and painful ordeal, for the Munoz family. Details regarding funeral and burial arrangements have not been made public at this time.

Rest in peace Marlise Munoz.