Meet Marilse Munoz. She is from Fort Worth Texas.
She’s 33. In November, she had a blood clot in her leg and collapsed on her living room floor. Doctors later declared her to be brain dead. The families wishes were to take her off life support.
Her husband Erick and the rest of the family said their goodbyes and prepared to pull the plug. Imagine their surprise to learn that the hospital was unable to comply with the family wishes.
Because she is 14 weeks pregnant.
You can read a version of the story on the top link. I say version because there are several.
The reason this is happening is because there is a law in Texas and two dozen other states that prevents doctors from ending life support for someone that is pregnant. This is the law.
“Section 166.049 Pregnant Patients. A person may not withdraw or withhold life-sustaining treatment under this subchapter from a pregnant patient.”
Now, I know many have been critical of the decision. However, I feel like there is some information missing here. The big question I have. Did the family know she was pregnant? If we go by 14, that’s mid October and she collapsed November 26. So, possibly a six week pregnancy at the time of collapse.Did the husband or the wife know? And, I think another fair question to ask, and I’m being sensitive here. If she knew that she would be pregnant and clinging to life support, would she want the baby to live? My point is, I feel like something within the process of this terrible situation, there is some important questions here.
Also, let’s be the hospital. The ones that are being criticized here. What is their role here? There is a law in place that they feel obligated to follow. I’m sure they want to be respectful to the family, but not to debate the term, but there is a life at stake. 14 weeks or not.
Perhaps, be the people involved. Put yourselves in the shoes of the family. Put yourselves in the shoes of the hospital. It seems easy to criticize the hospital, but from where I’m sitting, this also seems like a very difficult decision for the hospital as well. And as much at times to want to take the black and white stance, the reality is life has lots of grey in it. This is an example of that.
So, what do you think? How would be the best way to come to a resolution that helps all the people involved? Or, is that possible?