Today a Texas resident has opened a lawsuit suing a hospital to take his pregnant wife off of life support, a case which is already causing controversy. In the state of Texas, unborn children are recognized as living, and to end life-sustaining measures for the wife would also be ending the life of a child. but is it right that the life of the wife is being used in order to sustain the life of a child that may not even make it?
Erick Munoz does not think the actions taken by the hospital are, in fact, the right thing to do, which is why he has now hired a lawyer in helping him fight his case to allow his wife to rest. Munoz says that his wife, Marlise Munoz,never wanted to be on life support if the instance came up and that keeping her alive because she is pregnant is a violation of her rights.
But the hospital caring for her states that there is nothing that they can do as Texas laws prevent a hospital from ending life support for a pregnant woman.
Last November, Marlise, was found on the kitchen floor by husband, Erick, and was taken to the hospital. She was determined brain-dead after what was believed to be a pulmonary embolism. However, she was put on life support to sustain the life of her unborn child.
When Marlise was originally taken to the hospital after the incident she was only 14 weeks pregnant and sustaining the life of the unborn fetus has been nothing but a struggle, according to Erick Munoz. That is why Erick decided to sue the hospital over the life-sustaining measures they have taken for his pregnant wife. In order to sustain the life of the unborn child Marlise’s body is having to endure surgeries and much medical care that Erick believe in unnecessary and is a violation to Marlise.
The controversy in the matter is that many doctors have reported before that a fetus can not survive in a brain-dead mother. If the fetus is close to time of birth than measures are usually taken to ensure that the fetus comes out without problem. However, according to many researchers, keeping a fetus alive and without brain damage in a brain-dead mother is very rare.
Erick Munoz believes this and thinks that the fetus might already have brain damage from suffering oxygen deprivation, as Marlise was without oxygen for an extended period of time.
The case will be proceeding to court now that the lawsuit has been opened up to determine whether the laws in Texas apply in this situation. While the hospital’s hands are currently tied, as they have to provide life support to a pregnant woman, if the case goes to court and is found in favor of Munoz, Marlise will be removed from life support.
Though many believe if the law is not upheld it will cause a slippery-slope over the rights of the unborn child versus the rights of the mother, as many cases have in the past. Texas residents in the past have sued over life support laws, but there has not been a case quite like the one that Erick Munoz has opened concerning the life of his pregnant wife.
By Crystal Boulware