Hospital Holds Dead Woman Hostage in Pro-Life Battle


A Texas hospital held the body of Marlise Munoz, who had been legally dead since November of last year, hostage, citing pro-life legislation in a battle that finally ended this week. Munoz’ husband Erick, who discovered his wife’s body an hour after she suffered what doctors believe to be a pulmonary embolism, was forced to endure a grueling ordeal when John Peter Smith Hospital in Forth Worth, TX, insisted on keeping his pregnant wife’s body on life support, disregarding Marlise’s wish to be taken off any support if she was beyond medical assistance.

When Marlise’s body was brought to John Peter Smith Hospital, it took doctors less than two days to determine that her condition was beyond recovery. Her husband would lose his wife, the mother of his son and the fetus of their second child, but he was not prepared to have to fight for his wife’s right to die. The hospital refused to allow Mrs. Munoz’s body to come off life support, hoping to save her unborn child. The fetus, which was only three months old, was judged not viable by doctors.

Erick Munoz took his wife’s case to court where, after a lengthy battle, the judge determined that the pro-life laws that were in place did not apply to the dead woman and that the hospital must release the body from this hostage situation. On Sunday, Marlise Munoz and her unborn baby could finally rest in peace.

Abortion laws are hotly debated in most of the United States, but a poll taken last year shows that the number of Americans who support the right to choose is significantly smaller than we believe. While only 35% of Americans believe that the US is predominantly pro-life, a whopping 48% of Americans actually consider themselves pro-life. In Texas, much of the legislature has pro-life leanings as well. Parental consent for minors seeking abortions is required by Texas law and a woman who would like to terminate a pregnancy must not only view an ultrasound of the fetus, but must also endure counseling designed to dissuade her from getting an abortion and then wait 24 hours before the procedure, presumably to induce her to change her mind. Texas does not provide funding for abortions unless the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest or is proven to endanger the life of the mother, and does not permit the use of telemedicine where abortions are concerned.

It is not surprising that the Munoz family has had to deal with a lot of people poking their noses into what could easily be called a private, family matter. Although pro-choice activists have been making their voices heard in support of the family, Mr. Munoz stated that his wife’s body would be cremated and no funeral service would be held for his wife for fear of being attacked by pro-life protesters. After all this man and this family has gone through as a result of Texas legislators and vigilante hospital staff, it seems almost unbelievable that they are not even free to mourn their losses in peace. Sadly, the trials for the Munoz family, and others like them, may be far from over. Four Republican gubernatorial candidates have remarked on the dead woman’s battle for her right to die, stating that they support the hospital’s decision to hold Marlise Munoz hostage and will support even more stringent pro-life legislature if elected.

Editorial By Lauren Martin

Dallas News
Town Hall
Daily Mail

3 Responses to "Hospital Holds Dead Woman Hostage in Pro-Life Battle"

  1. Annie Smith   February 3, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    Ms Flemming
    Had you read the article you would have learned that the fetus was not viable. Or in much easier to understand words, deceased or dead. Keeping the woman on life support for a dead baby does no good for anyone.
    My sympathy is with the family.

  2. Lisa V Fleming   February 2, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    Thats bullcrap!!! That baby had a right to live and should have had that right protected. What damage did it do to preserve the life of an unborn infant… most mothers would willingly go thru that for their child and then after a c section should be allowed to rest in peace. You people finally commited murder for no good reason. A mothers body could be sustained to let the baby live.

    • Hello   February 7, 2014 at 12:50 am

      firstly its not murder because a fetus is not a person.
      secondly its not viable, so it died by natural causes.
      thirdly you have no right to decide the life and death of another person, you are not “god”. I put god in quotations because i think if you live in 21st century and believe in fairy tales written in ancient times, you should check into a mental hospital asap.
      however that is only my opinion, whether you listen to me and check yourself into a hospital or not that’s up to you and how determined you are to become a functional member of our modern society.
      people who are against abortions are not realists, they live in a fantasy world where everyone have the means to support a child. Unless your house is filled with adopted children you saved from abortion clinic, then your talking the talk but not walking the walk. what people need to understand that a better sex education, better youth support programs will drastically decrease the number of abortions. i believe people should only get pregnant when they are ready however the world is not perfect and judging these people would not make it any better. it might make you look a little superior but that all judging these people can bring. They are people who make their own choices. these choices does not harm any other person in anyway form or shape, so why does it bother you? Get Real!

      Perhaps use your time to do some concrete help such as volunteering at you local youth center ( not a church related group please) instead of sitting here accusing good people of murder.


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