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Brain Dead Pregnant Woman Taken Off Life Support By Husband

Mon, January 27, 2014 12:35pm EDT by Kristine Kowalski 5 Comments
Marlise Munoz Life Support
Courtesy of Facebook

Texas mom Marlise Munoz was taken off life support machines and put in her family’s care on Jan. 26. Though she had told her husband she never wanted to be kept lingering on life support, Texas doctors refused to disconnect her after she was declared brain dead because she was pregnant with the pair’s second child.

Marlise Munoz was taken off of life support on Jan. 26, after she was on a ventilator since collapsing in her home from a suspected brain blood clot on Nov. 26, 2013. Her husband, Erick Munoz, fought to have his wife removed from the machines because she had made it clear to him that she never wanted to be existing only through artificial means, but her medical situation was complicated as she was 14 weeks pregnant when she was declared brain dead.

Marlise Munoz Off Life Support: Pregnant Brain Dead Texas Mom & Unborn Baby

Marlise, 39, collapsed in her kitchen in Nov. 26, and she was suddenly taken from her young family, but in efforts to save her unborn baby, the Fort Worth, Tex. hospital caring for her kept her on life support to allow her fetus to continue developing.

Pregnant Mom Removed From Life Support

Adding to her husband Erick’s overwhelming grief, the hospital caring for Marlise refused to take her off of life support machines even after she was declared brain dead, due to laws protecting pregnant mothers and unborn babies.

Erick fought for his wife to be taken off of life support, arguing that it is not only what she would have wanted for her, but also for her child. After months of legal pleas, a suit against the hospital and doctors finding that the fetus was developing abnormally, Marlise was taken off of the ventilator on Jan. 26 and her body was placed in her husband’s care so she could be laid to rest, reported The Daily Mail.

Pregnant Mom’s Life Support Case Sparks Abortion Controversy

Though Marlise had expressed her wishes to not be held on a ventilator, a Texas law forbids hospitals from withholding care to a pregnant woman. The hospital interpreted this law to the strictest degree, overruling Marlise’s own wishes in the hopes of saving her unborn baby. Marlise did not specifically state that she wished to be taken off life support even if she was pregnant, causing controversy about doctors terminating a pregnancy against the family’s wishes.

Our thoughts are with Marlisa’s family at this difficult time.

— Kristine Hope Kowalski

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