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Hospital Forces Woman on Life Support

 
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tatee View Drop Down
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    Posted: Jan 10 2014 at 1:18pm
because she is pregnant.

Texas Family Will Sue Hospital For Keeping Pregnant, Brain-Dead Woman On Life Support

By Tara Culp-Ressler on January 10, 2014 at 11:13 am

"Texas Family Will Sue Hospital For Keeping Pregnant, Brain-Dead Woman On Life Support"



Marlise Munoz, her husband, and their young son

Marlise Munoz, her husband, and their young son

CREDIT: Fox News

The family of Marlise Machado Munoz is preparing a legal challenge against a Texas hospital that is forcing them to keep Munoz on life support because she’s pregnant, even though she has been pronounced brain dead and the grieving family wants to say their goodbyes. An attorney who specializes in family law confirmed to the Star-Telegram that litigation will be filed soon, but declined to give more details in order to protect the strategy in the upcoming legal fight.

Munoz was pronounced brain dead in November after losing consciousness unexpectedly. She was 14 weeks pregnant at the time. Munoz’s family members say she would never want to be kept alive by a machine — but hospital officials are still preventing them from removing Munoz from a ventilator. The hospital is citing a decades-old state law that states, “A person may not withdraw or withhold life-sustaining treatment… from a pregnant patient.” Texas is one of 12 states that invalidate women’s end-of-life wishes if she is pregnant.

In Munoz’s case, the hospital could actually be applying the law incorrectly.

“I think the Texas law cannot apply to the dead,” Art Caplan, the director of medical ethics at New York University’s Langone Medical Center, explained to the Star-Telegram. “I think the hospital is wrong to insist that it does.”

The issue at hand results from a misunderstanding of the medical definition of death. As the New York Times notes, it’s important to make the distinction between individuals who are “brain dead” — like Munoz — and individuals who are in a “persistent vegetative state.” The most high-profile battles over life support, like the one that centered on Terri Schiavo, involved people who were in vegetative states. That means they could breathe on their own; although they may have been severely brain damaged, they weren’t considered to be brain dead.

Brain death, on the other hand, is one of the two medical definitions of death. In all 50 states, once a person is declared to be brain dead, they are considered to be deceased. In every state except for New York and New Jersey, hospitals don’t need to consult families to decide how to terminate care after a brain death diagnosis.

Laurence McCullough, a professor at the Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy at Baylor College of Medicine, told USA Today that there shouldn’t be any ethical issues about providing care to someone who is brain dead because that patient is now a corpse. Most medical professionals actually believe it is highly unethical to keep a brain dead person hooked up to ventilators or feeding tubes, because medical interventions shouldn’t be performed on a dead body.

Even when an individual is bread dead, their heart may remain beating. That can give the illusion of life. In another high-profile controversy currently swirling around this area of medical practice, the family of 13-year-old Jahi McMath is fighting to keep her hooked up to life support even though she is brain dead, because they say her body functions prove she is still alive. But that heartbeat is only temporary. With ventilation, the heart can continue to beat for up to a week even without brain function. With more aggressive intervention, it could keep beating for months after brain death. It’s confusing to receive a death certificate for someone whose heart is still beating, but doctors ultimately say that it doesn’t change the fact that they’re not alive any longer.

NYU’s Caplan believes that when it comes to both Munoz and McMath, the cases have been handled very badly. “They’re giving the impression that dead people can come back to life,” he explained. Caplan encouraged the Munoz family to sue over the hospital’s interpretation of Texas law.

http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/01/10/3146331/texas-family-sue-life-support/

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femmemichelle View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote femmemichelle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 10 2014 at 1:23pm
I mean can they not deliver the baby? I would think making sure the baby is OK if the mother is too far gone would be of the utmost importance to the family.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote femmemichelle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 10 2014 at 1:25pm
Ohhh the baby was 14 weeks. So it's gone??? So why are they keeping her hooked up? How do they plan on maintaining the baby's life if it's only 14 weeks? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote yaya24 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 10 2014 at 1:26pm
Well, she's going to be on it for a LONG time then until the baby is delivered. She was only 14 weeks pregnant at the time of her diagnosis of being brain dead.

I wonder who will be responsible for paying for that?
(I only skimmed the article).



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tatee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 10 2014 at 1:29pm
Originally posted by yaya24 yaya24 wrote:

Well, she's going to be on it for a LONG time then until the baby is delivered. She was only 14 weeks pregnant at the time of her diagnosis of being brain dead.

I wonder who will be responsible for paying for that?
(I only skimmed the article).





you know theyre going to send the husband that bill.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (4) Thanks(4)   Quote AwesomeAries Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 10 2014 at 1:29pm
If they can keep the baby alive and deliver it safely I don't see why not....

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blaquefoxx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 10 2014 at 1:29pm
Originally posted by yaya24 yaya24 wrote:

Well, she's going to be on it for a LONG time then until the baby is delivered. She was only 14 weeks pregnant at the time of her diagnosis of being brain dead.

I wonder who will be responsible for paying for that?
(I only skimmed the article).




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (17) Thanks(17)   Quote maysay1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 10 2014 at 1:35pm
Originally posted by AwesomeAries AwesomeAries wrote:

If they can keep the baby alive and deliver it safely I don't see why not....



You don't see why keeping a dead person as an incubator for a fetus might be a problem?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (8) Thanks(8)   Quote femmemichelle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 10 2014 at 1:38pm
The thing is that's still her child in there and there's life inside of her. There's no way to ask her, but if I were in that position (God forbid) I'd want to make sure my baby at least makes it out alive......

I know this society has a tendency to treat unborn children as lifeless ragdolls capable of being disposed at the mother's discretion but they received no such permission from her to terminate the baby's life. If it can be sustained I don't see the issue.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote tatee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 10 2014 at 1:41pm
Originally posted by femmemichelle femmemichelle wrote:

The thing is that's still her child in there and there's life inside of her. There's no way to ask her, but if I were in that position (God forbid) I'd want to make sure my baby at least makes it out alive......

I know this society has a tendency to treat unborn children as lifeless ragdolls capable of being disposed at the mother's discretion but they received no such permission from her to terminate the baby's life. If it can be sustained I don't see the issue.


she told her family her wishes and she didnt want it.


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