Marlise Munoz's Corpse to be Removed from Ventilator
A legal battle that has been raging for almost two months between John Peter Smith Hospital and Erick Munoz over the continued life-sustaining treatment of his dead pregnant wife's body has finally come to an end. The court ruled Marlise Munoz was to be taken off the ventilator. Mrs. Munoz was first rushed to the hospital after collapsing on the floor and not breathing for an hour; the doctors pronounced her dead from a blood clot in her lung. However, even against the wishes of Munoz and Marlise's parents, the hospital would not disconnect her from the ventilator because a Texas law prohibited it when she was pregnant. Doctors asserted that the body had to be kept alive by machines until the 14-week-old fetus was delivered or died. The Texas Advance Directives Act does not forbid hospitals from removing support, but the hospital would lose its legal immunity if it did so, the driving force behind their decision. The authors of the law said it was not intended to keep a dead pregnant woman on ventilators. After Mr. Munoz sued the hospital for "cruel and obscene mutilation of a corpse," the decision was quickly reached that the fetus wasn't viable because of a lack of oxygen and that the hospital was to remove Mrs. Munoz from the ventilator. Upon the reading of the verdict, Mr. Munoz could only weep.
By Jordan Moses
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