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*Update* Brain-dead Woman Kept Alive Only to Incubate Her Baby 

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  #41  
Old 01-24-2014, 11:55 PM
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Re: *Update* Brain-dead Woman Kept Alive Only to Incubate Her Baby

I hope they just let her and her baby go, maybe the baby was always meant to be with the mom.

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Old 01-25-2014, 06:04 PM
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*Update* Hospital Considering Removing Life Support**

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Originally Posted by Pigeon View Post
Sanity at last.
Not quite, sadly! I cannot believe the hospital is still considering the court's decision!

Nomaan Merchant
Associated Press

January 25, 2014

A hospital spokeswoman said, "discussions are ongoing," as administrators weigh the order issued a day earlier to disconnect life support for a pregnant, brain-dead woman.

FORT WORTH, Texas — Hospital executives in North Texas were conferring Saturday with the district attorney's office to determine their next step following a judge's ruling that they must disconnect life support for a pregnant, brain-dead woman, according to a hospital official.

John Peter Smith Hospital spokeswoman J.R. Labbe said, "discussions are ongoing," as administrators weigh the order issued a day earlier by Judge R. H. Wallace, Jr. The hospital is owned by Tarrant County and is being represented in the contentious case by the DA's office.

Wallace agreed with a request by Erick Munoz to have life support removed for his wife, Marlise Munoz. She was 14 weeks pregnant with the couple's second child when her husband found her unconscious November 26, possibly due to a blood clot.

The judge's ruling could give Erick Munoz a long-awaited chance to bury his wife and move forward to care for their son and his relatives. It would also mean the fetus would never be born.

Wallace gave the Fort Worth hospital until 5 p.m. CST Monday to remove life support. Labbe declined to elaborate Saturday on what the hospital's next step might be — whether to appeal the judge's order or comply with it. The hospital previously has said it has a legal duty to protect the fetus.

Both the hospital and the family agree that Marlise Munoz meets the criteria to be considered brain-dead — which means she is dead both medically and under Texas law — and that the fetus could not be born alive this early in pregnancy. But while the hospital says it's obligated to protect the fetus, Munoz contends his wife would not have wanted to be kept in this condition. And his attorneys have said medical records show the fetus is, "distinctly abnormal."

The judge gave John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth until 5 p.m. CST Monday to remove life support for Marlise Munoz.

The case has raised questions about end-of-life care and whether a pregnant woman who is considered legally and medically dead should be kept on life support for the sake of a fetus. It also has gripped attention on both sides of the abortion debate, with anti-abortion groups arguing Munoz' fetus deserves a chance to be born. Several anti-abortion advocates attended Friday's hearing.

Hospital officials have said they were bound by the Texas Advance Directives Act, which prohibits withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment from a pregnant patient. But in his brief ruling, Wallace said that, "Mrs. Munoz is dead," meaning that the hospital was misapplying the law. The ruling did not mention the fetus.

The hospital has not pronounced her dead and has continued to treat her over the objections of both Erick Munoz and her parents, who sat together in court Friday.

Larry Thompson, a state's attorney representing the public hospital, told the judge Friday that the hospital recognized the Munoz family's pain and rights, but said it had a greater legal responsibility to protect the fetus.

"There is a life involved, and the life is the unborn child," Thompson said.

As Wallace gave his ruling, Erick Munoz embraced his wife's parents and one of his attorneys. Munoz declined to comment as he left court Friday. But he told The Associated Press earlier this month, in a phone interview sitting in the hospital room, that he and his wife were both paramedics who knew they didn't want to stay on life support this way.

Munoz described in a signed affidavit filed Thursday what it was like to see her now: her glassy, "soulless," eyes; and the smell of her perfume replaced by what he knows to be the smell of death. He said he's tried to hold her hand but can't.

"Her limbs have become so stiff and rigid due to her deteriorating condition that now, when I move her hands, her bones crack, and her legs are nothing more than dead weight," Munoz said.

Jessica Hall Janicek and Heather King, Erick Munoz' attorneys, accused the hospital of conducting a, "science experiment," and warned of the dangerous precedent her case could set, raising the specter of special ICUs for brain-dead women carrying babies.

"There is an infant, and a dead person serving as a dysfunctional incubator," King told the judge.

King and Janicek did not say what they would do next, pending a potential appeal by the hospital, and they didn't respond to phone messages left for them Saturday.

The hospital said in a statement that it, "appreciates the potential impact of the consequences of the order on all parties involved," and was deciding whether to appeal.

The hospital argued in a court filing Thursday that there was little evidence of what state lawmakers and courts thought of this issue, but recent laws passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature to restrict abortion made it clear that they wanted to preserve a fetus' rights.

The Advance Directives Act, "must convey legislative intent to protect the unborn child," the hospital said in its filing. "Otherwise, the Legislature would have simply allowed a pregnant patient to decide to let her life, and the life of her unborn child, end."

Not much is known about fetal survival when mothers suffer brain death during pregnancy. German doctors who searched for such cases found 30 of them in nearly 30 years, according to an article published in the journal BMC Medicine, in 2010.

Those mothers were further along in pregnancy — 22 weeks on average — when brain death occurred than in the Texas case. Birth results were available for 19 cases. In 12, a viable child was born. Follow-up results were available for six, all of whom developed normally.

I wonder if the hospital would do the same thing if the pregnant woman was an abusive, drug addict.

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Old 01-25-2014, 06:09 PM
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Re: *Update* Brain-dead Woman Kept Alive Only to Incubate Her Baby

It's a Judges order, so if they don't comply by Monday, I wonder what actions the Court will take?

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Old 01-25-2014, 06:17 PM
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Re: *Update* Brain-dead Woman Kept Alive Only to Incubate Her Baby

I still wonder who is going to pay the bill! The family has stated since Day One, they wanted to let their family member and baby go and hired a lawyer.

This is like a bad soap opera!

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Old 01-25-2014, 06:24 PM
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Re: *Update* Brain-dead Woman Kept Alive Only to Incubate Her Baby

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Originally Posted by diamondsmiles View Post
I still wonder who is going to pay the bill! The family has stated since Day One, they wanted to let their family member and baby go and hired a lawyer.

This is like a bad soap opera!
Perhaps the hospital will absorb the costs, since they insisted on the life support?

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Old 01-25-2014, 11:21 PM
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Re: *Update* Brain-dead Woman Kept Alive Only to Incubate Her Baby

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Originally Posted by Kelseecat65 View Post
It's a Judges order, so if they don't comply by Monday, I wonder what actions the Court will take?
I wonder as well. The hospital was concerned about what action to take because of the law in Texas. Well, now they have been given the order to unplug the machines, so what are they waiting for? What investment do they have in this fetus?

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Old 01-26-2014, 09:31 AM
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Re: *Update* Brain-dead Woman Kept Alive Only to Incubate Her Baby

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Originally Posted by Kelseecat65 View Post
Perhaps the hospital will absorb the costs, since they insisted on the life support?
Since the hospital refused to issue a death certificate, their lawyers will argue that the woman was alive, and bill her husband for services rendered.

That's what I think will happen.

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Old 01-26-2014, 04:56 PM
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Re: *Update* FINALLY Removed From Life Support!

Nomaan Merchant
Associated Press

January 26, 2014

FORT WORTH, Texas — The family of a brain-dead, pregnant Texas woman said Sunday afternoon that she has been removed from life support following a judge's ruling that a Fort Worth hospital was misapplying state law in the case.

A statement sent Sunday afternoon by lawyers for the husband of Marlise Munoz says she was disconnected from life support about 11:30 a.m.

It says her body was released to her husband, Erick Munoz.

The family, "will now proceed with the somber task of laying Marlise Munoz' body to rest, and grieving over the great loss that has been suffered," the statement says.

Earlier Sunday, J.R. Labbe, a spokeswoman for John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, issued a statement saying the hospital, "will follow the court order," issued Friday in the case of Marlise Munoz.

"From the onset, JPS has said its role was not to make nor contest law but to follow it," the statement says. "On Friday, a state district judge ordered the removal of life-sustaining treatment from Marlise Munoz. The hospital will follow the court order."

Judge R.H. Wallace had given the hospital until 5 p.m., Monday, to comply with his ruling to remove Munoz from life support, which Erick Munoz says is what his wife would have wanted.

She was 14 weeks pregnant when her husband found her unconscious November 26, possibly due to a blood clot.

Both the hospital and family agreed before Wallace's ruling that Marlise Munoz meets the criteria to be considered brain-dead — which means she is dead both medically and under Texas law — and that her fetus, at about 23 weeks, could not be born alive this early in pregnancy.

The case has raised questions about end-of-life care and whether a pregnant woman who is considered legally and medically dead should be kept on life support for the sake of a fetus. It also has garnered attention on both sides of the abortion debate, with anti-abortion groups arguing Munoz' fetus deserves a chance to be born.

Erick Munoz and his wife both worked as paramedics and were familiar with end-of-life issues. He insisted both were clear that they did not want to be kept alive by machines in this type of situation.

Munoz described in a signed affidavit Thursday what it was like to see his wife on life support: her glassy, "soulless" eyes; and the smell of her perfume replaced by what he knows to be the smell of death. He said he tried to hold her hand but can't.

"Her limbs have become so stiff and rigid due to her deteriorating condition that now, when I move her hands, her bones crack, and her legs are nothing more than dead weight," Munoz said.

But the hospital argued it was bound by Texas law that says life-sustaining treatment cannot be withdrawn from a pregnant patient, regardless of her end-of-life wishes.

Legal experts interviewed by The Associated Press have said the hospital was misreading the law and that the law doesn't have an absolute command to keep someone like Munoz on life support.

Larry Thompson, a state's attorney arguing on behalf of the hospital Friday, said the hospital was trying to protect the rights of the fetus as it believed Texas law instructed it to do.

"There is a life involved, and the life is the unborn child," Thompson said.

But on Sunday, the hospital backed down in the face of the judge's order.

"The past eight weeks have been difficult for the Munoz family, the caregivers and the entire Tarrant County community, which found itself involved in a sad situation," the hospital's statement says. "JPS Health Network has followed what we believed were the demands of a state statute."

Erick Munoz escorted by his attorneys in Fort Worth, Texas.
Tim Sharp, AP

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Old 01-26-2014, 05:32 PM
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Re: *Update* Brain-dead Woman Kept Alive Only to Incubate Her Baby

Thankfully it is over! May they both rest in peace together. But I feel so bad for her husband because of others who think they know better, his last memories of his wife will be in that hospital like that. No one should ever mess in anyone else's life, worry about yourself and how you will be judged, not how others will!!

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Old 01-28-2014, 05:33 PM
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**Update**Father to be Named Baby Nicole

Tim Sharp / AP

By Henry Austin, NBC News contributor

Aware that he would never get to meet her, the husband of a pregnant, brain-dead woman nonetheless named their unborn child before his wife was taken off life support Sunday.

Nicole was the name chosen by Erick Munoz for the 23 week old fetus that would have been his second child with wife Marlise, he told the Associated Press. Their first child, Mateo, is 15 months old.

"They think it was a female," Munoz added, saying that doctors at the John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth had indicated to him that the fetus would likely have been a girl, although his attorneys previously said the unborn baby suffered from lower body deformation that made it impossible to determine a gender.

Does anyone know if any males ever were born with Mermaid Syndrome? I've only heard of females. Just a guess on my part that that may have been the deformity.

There was no happy ending for this case. I think the family accepted it from the beginning. Took the hospital longer to catch up. Rest in peace, Mother and Child <3

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