Pregnant, brain-dead woman's husband sues hospital

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Pregnant, brain-dead woman's husband sues hospital

The husband of a brain-dead, pregnant Texas woman on Tuesday sued the hospital keeping her on life support, saying doctors are doing so against her and her family's wishes.
The lawsuit filed in state district court asks a judge to order John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth to remove life support for Marlise Munoz, a North Texas woman who was 14 weeks pregnant when her husband found her unconscious on Nov. 26. Her family says the exact cause of her condition isn't known, though a pulmonary embolism is a possibility.

The hospital has said a state law prohibits life-saving treatment from being denied to pregnant patients.

Erick Munoz said a doctor told him his wife is considered brain-dead. He says that he and his wife, who are both paramedics, are very familiar with end-of-life issues and that she has made it clear to him that she would not want life support in this kind of situation. Marlise Munoz's parents agree.

Experts familiar with the Texas law say the hospital is incorrectly applying the statute because Munoz would be considered legally and medically dead.

"Marlise Munoz is dead, and she gave clear instructions to her husband and family ? Marlise was not to remain on any type of artificial 'life sustaining treatment', ventilators or the like," the lawsuit said. "There is no reason JPS should be allowed to continue treatment on Marlise Munoz's dead body, and this Court should order JPS to immediately discontinue such."

Erick Munoz's lawyers, Heather King and Jessica Hall Janicek, also asked for an expedited answer from the court. No hearing was immediately scheduled.

Hospital spokeswoman J.R. Labbe directed questions about the lawsuit to the Tarrant County District Attorney's office, which she said represents local public hospitals. A district attorney's spokeswoman did not immediately respond to an email message.

Labbe previously has said hospital officials stand by their position: "This is not a difficult decision for us. We are following the law."

Erick Munoz's lawsuit argues that his directives ? and the hospital's decision to follow them ? no longer matter because Marlise Munoz is dead under Texas law.

"As such, her body should instead immediately be released to her family," the lawsuit says.

The family has said they do not know the condition of the fetus. Marlise Munoz is believed to have been without oxygen for some time before her husband found her. Doctors have told Erick Munoz that they are monitoring the fetus, but Munoz has said he's uncertain about how healthy the fetus will be given his wife's condition.

"You know what kind of damage my wife sustained, and what kind of possible damage the baby inside her sustained," he said during a recent interview.

A 2010 article in the journal BMC Medicine found 30 cases of brain-dead pregnant women over about 30 years. Of 19 reported results, the journal found 12 in which a viable child was born and had post-birth data for two years on only six of them ? all of whom developed normally, according to the journal.

In refusing to take Marlise Munoz off life support, the hospital has cited a provision of the Texas Advance Directives Act that reads: "A person may not withdraw or withhold life-sustaining treatment under this subchapter from a pregnant patient."

Experts interviewed by The Associated Press, including two who helped draft the legislation, said a brain-dead patient's case wouldn't be covered by the law.

"This patient is neither terminally nor irreversibly ill," said Dr. Robert Fine, clinical director of the office of clinical ethics and palliative care for Baylor Health Care System. "Under Texas law, this patient is legally dead."

Tom Mayo, a Southern Methodist University law professor, said he did not believe the law applied in this case.
"It simply says that if you were to take the life support away, you'd be outside the subchapter," Mayo said. "It doesn't have an affirmative command in it that you must keep life support going."

Pregnant, brain-dead woman's husband sues hospital

Your thoughts?

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This woman is legally brain dead, not brain-damaged, not in a vegetative state, and even if she was she made it expressly clear that she didn't want to be kept "alive" artificially. Her husband has the right to take her dead body off the ventilator that is keeping her heart artificially beating. No doubt about that. And it should be up to no one except her husband to decide if he wants to take the chances on the baby, especially since no one knows how long she had been without oxygen before her husband found her, and since there is no way of knowing if the fetus sustained brain damage until after it is born. She was only 14 weeks pregnant when she died -- a point at which she could have had a legal abortion and no one would have blinked an eye over it -- so the odds for the baby of being sustained long enough to reach viability aren't good. I completely support this man's desire to let his wife and baby finish dying.

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A couple of points I want to make. Even though the husband says they discussed it, and I don't doubt they did, she did not put it in writing. Also, even though they discussed her not wanting to be on life support, they did not discuss whether she would want to be on life support if it was a matter of saving her baby. A couple months ago we had a debate about a woman who wanted to marry someone in this same situation, because she stated she knew his wishes and they were planning to get married. The almost unanimous response was that she could not speak for him because he was not there to make the decision. So why is this case different? We don't really know for sure what this woman would do because she is not here to tell us. This is even more serious because a child's life is on the line. Even though the odds may not be in her favor, this has happened before and resulted in a healthy baby. This woman was declared dead over a month ago and so the baby would already be at 21 weeks now.

This case the baby was 15 weeks when she was declared brain dead and they delivered the baby at 27 weeks.
Baby born to brain dead mother as foetus survives from 15 to 27 weeks | Mail Online

These twins were delivered at 25 weeks after the mother was on life support for a month and survived.
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/brain-dead-mom-gives-birth-to-twins-while-on-life-support/

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

A couple of points I want to make. Even though the husband says they discussed it, and I don't doubt they did, she did not put it in writing. Also, even though they discussed her not wanting to be on life support, they did not discuss whether she would want to be on life support if it was a matter of saving her baby. A couple months ago we had a debate about a woman who wanted to marry someone in this same situation, because she stated she knew his wishes and they were planning to get married. The almost unanimous response was that she could not speak for him because he was not there to make the decision. So why is this case different? We don't really know for sure what this woman would do because she is not here to tell us. This is even more serious because a child's life is on the line. Even though the odds may not be in her favor, this has happened before and resulted in a healthy baby. This woman was declared dead over a month ago and so the baby would already be at 21 weeks now.

This case the baby was 15 weeks when she was declared brain dead and they delivered the baby at 27 weeks.
Baby born to brain dead mother as foetus survives from 15 to 27 weeks | Mail Online

These twins were delivered at 25 weeks after the mother was on life support for a month and survived.
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/brain-dead-mom-gives-birth-to-twins-while-on-life-support/

You don't have to put it in writing if you trust your spouse to do what you want. Spouses have the right to make medical decisions for their spouse in every single state. And even so, it sounds like a DNR wouldn't make a difference here anyway because she's already dead; they just didn't know that yet when they placed her on the ventilator. The hospital is making a legal argument about "keeping her alive" when she is no longer alive.

And in both of the cases you cite, the mothers were with someone when they collapsed, who helped get them medical attention ASAP, and they were placed on life support equipment quickly. In Ms. Munoz' case it's unknown how long she was without oxygen. Her husband came home and found her on the floor. IIRC from prior articles about this case, she was known to be alive & well 40 minutes earlier but she didn't answer her phone 20 minutes before her husband got home. Maybe we don't hear about the babies who are born with severe brain damage because they aren't exceptional enough to warrant being documented in the medical literature? Either way, if her husband doesn't want to raise a potentially severely brain-damaged child, he shouldn't be forced to continue the pregnancy against both his and his wife's wishes. He has a healthy daughter at home who needs him even more now more than ever.

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"Spacers" wrote:

Either way, if her husband doesn't want to raise a potentially severely brain-damaged child, he shouldn't be forced to continue the pregnancy against both his and his wife's wishes. He has a healthy daughter at home who needs him even more now more than ever.

We don't know his wife's wishes and we don't know whether the child is brain damaged or not. Any child has the potential to be handicapped, if he doesn't want to raise the child he has the option to hand the baby over to the state and I'm sure there is someone out there who will want to raise him/her. Also they have a son, not a daughter.

I'm not sure what articles you are reading, but her husband was sleeping when she collapsed so it could have been 40 minutes or it could have been only 5 minutes there is no way to know. Maybe the sound of her collapsing is what woke him? Also, if she was so against being revived why did he perform CPR in the first place?

Erick says that at 2 a.m. on November 26, he awoke to find Marlise unconscious on their kitchen floor. Erick, who, like Marlise, is a paramedic, began performing CPR on his wife and dialed 911. She was then transported via ambulance to JPS, where doctors told Erick his wife has “lost all activity in her brain stem, and was for all purposes brain dead,” says the suit.

http://thescoopblog.dallasnews.com/2014/01/husband-of-pregnant-brain-dead-woman-sues-to-have-her-removed-from-life-support-in-fort-worth.html/

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Attempting to revive and being kept alive artificially are 2 different things.

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"Jessica80" wrote:

Attempting to revive and being kept alive artificially are 2 different things.

Exactly!

As Stacey pointed out, I don't think that you can compare the case of the woman who wanted to marry a man in a vegetative state to a man who is already married to a woman who has passed away. The woman who wanted to marry didn't have the authority to make decisions for her fiance, since they weren't married. Since in this case they ARE married, he already has the authority to make medical decisions on her behalf. Presumably she consented to that when she married him.

I also agree that they are not "keeping her alive" since she is already dead.

I definitely think it should be the husband's decision to remove her from...I don't even know what you call it....is it still "life support" if she's already dead?

I think this is a tragic situation that the hospital is making all the more agonizing.

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

I definitely think it should be the husband's decision to remove her from...I don't even know what you call it....is it still "life support" if she's already dead?

I had this thought during the Jahi McMath debate. They should call it something "artifical heart-beater machine" rather than life support once you're brain dead.

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How is it not life support if it is still supporting a life? There is no evidence the baby is brain dead.

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The machines are not making the baby's heart beat, they are making the dead mother's heart beat.

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

The machines are not making the baby's heart beat, they are making the dead mother's heart beat.

Actually they aren't making the mother's heart beat either. Her heart is beating just fine, she just can't breathe on her own, otherwise we wouldn't be having this debate. The baby IS alive, has his own heartbeat, his own brain. So the machine is keeping a child alive that is NOT brain dead or dead in any other way. If the baby was brain dead it likely wouldn't be growing.

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My point is that the machine is not hooked up directly to the baby, it is hooked up to a legally dead person. Therefore, it's not really offering life support to the person it is hooked up to.

I don't know that it is the case that the baby wouldn't grow if it were brain dead. I don't think the doctors know either. But that is really beside the point. The point is that this woman's husband (who has the legal right to make decisions on her behalf) has expressed his wishes that his wife not be kept hooked up to machines in this scenario and the hospital is ignoring his wishes. They are treating her dead body as an incubator. I think most of the time we agree that people's remains should be treated according to their wishes and the wishes of their family, which is why we don't force organ donation even though it is a huge waste that costs lives. We agree that our bodies are our own, even in death. This hospital has usurped that, and to me it's no different than stealing her organs against her will and justifying it by saying that it would save someone else's life. That's most likely true for every case where viable organs are not donated. Are we or are we not okay with having someone else take them against our wishes?

Because there is a second life in the balance (the baby's) I do not take as hard of a stance as with this case as I did with the Jahi case. If the roles were reversed and the hospital was trying to take the woman off "life support" and the husband were fighting to keep her on it, because of the baby I would side with the husband. But his decision is clear - he does not want his wife's dead body to be used in this way. I think the hospital should respect that.

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As an aside, what is the legal definition of dead? In this debate and the other one I have heard people talk about bread dead, but I have always heard it is when the heart stops beating. That definition would form my opinion on both this debate and the other one. To me, If in either debate the person was really and truly dead it would not be an issue. It seems to me that it first must be determined if the person is truly dead. I do not think anyone would be having these discussions about someone who was both brain dead, not breathing, and not have a heart beat.

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Here is an article about brain death.

Brain Death - Criteria For Brain Death - What Is Brain Death

She is dead. Her heart is beating for now because we are keeping her on a ventilator, but that is completely artificial. You don't come back from brain death.

ETA: What I meant to say is that her heart is beating because the ventilator is making her breathe. Without the ventilator causing her body to breathe her heart would die as well from lack of oxygen.

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People are kept on life support all the time to keep their organs alive for donation. Maybe not as long but I don't see how is this any different. If she is an organ donor she is donating her beating heart to keep her own baby alive.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

People are kept on life support all the time to keep their organs alive for donation. Maybe not as long but I don't see how is this any different. If she is an organ donor she is donating her beating heart to keep her own baby alive.

Not against their family's wishes. If the family says no to organ donation, the hospital respects that. I agree that it's not any different than organ donation, and if it were her husband's wish to keep her body alive for that purpose then the hospital should honor it. But that is not her husband's wish, so they should honor his wishes just as they would for organ donation.

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

Not against their family's wishes. If the family says no to organ donation, the hospital respects that. I agree that it's not any different than organ donation, and if it were her husband's wish to keep her body alive for that purpose then the hospital should honor it. But that is not her husband's wish, so they should honor his wishes just as they would for organ donation.

This isn't exactly the same though because here there is no other option for this baby to live. Her not donating her organs doesn't cause another person's death directly as it does in this case. What if it were conjoined twins and one twin was brain dead and the other wasn't? Would it be ok to take the brain dead twin off life support if it would cause the death of the other?

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Gloria, there is no sense in trying to explain to you why a fetus/mother pair are not the same as conjoined twins because you believe that even a newly fertilized egg is a separate person with seemingly more rights than its mother. Some of us believe the rights of the mother to her own body, and the right of her husband to allow her to finish dying, outweigh the rights of the fetus.

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Ya it's kind of hard for me to comprehend how the rights of a dead person are more important than the life of a living one. Especially when we don't even know for sure what that choice of the dead person would be.

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In this case, I'm going to have to side with the husband. He doesn't want her this way and is stating that she wouldn't want that. They worked in the field and probably talked about this often. Hell, I don't work in the field and my husband knows I would want to be taken off.

You don't keep someone alive in order to support another. I wouldn't want to be kept alive just to harvest organs if I wasn't an organ donor. No different.

And yes, by not being an organ donor you are contributing to the death of someone since we don't have enough organs to go around for transplants.

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I do think the husband should be able to determine if she is or is not taken off life support. That said, I do not necessarily think the couple talked about this exact situation. If I was in a persistent vegetative state I would not want to be on life support indefinitely. I would however, feel completely different about the situation if I was pregnant.

I read the above article, but I can see having a harder time in both situations with brain death and not cardiac death.

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Well that's up to you to let your husband know that. Assuming he knows you are pro life, I'm guessing he would want you to remain on support to deliver if the pregnancy continues.

I've left that situation up to my husband. I certainly don't want to saddle him with baby #3 and I'm dead and this baby could possibly have some severe issues (even if he/she didn't...another child without me there is going to be a HUGE change for him.) However, if he felt that he needed this he is to keep me hooked up. Other than that, he is to take me off life support if I am brain dead. He wants the same for him.

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My husband & I have talked about this kind of thing many times, and we made a point to talk about it during each pregnancy just in case our views changed. When I was pregnant with our first, we agreed to do everything to save the baby. When I was pregnant with our second, we agreed that our living daughter was far more important than any potential second child, and we would do everything we could to save her from emotional pain, including the loss of her mother, or saddling her father with a newborn and no wife and no income. (We know our families well enough to know they would be no help at all even under such dire circumstances.) This couple's living child is so young, she might not even know that her mother was pregnant. She's losing her mother, that's enough. If her dad doesn't want to be saddled with another child without his wife to help, that's his decision, no one else's. Heck, when this all started, Ms. Munoz was at a point in her pregnancy where she could have legally terminated the pregnancy and the hospital would have nothing to say about it. Why do they think they have the right to have a say at all? It's not their body, not their baby, not their loved one. Butt out.

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What happened to the idea that a hospital not having to go against its principles as people said in the other debate? It seems to me that if the hospital felt that taking the mother off life support would kill the baby they should not be forced to do that. The father should be however allowed to have his wife transferred to another facility that may not feel the same way.

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Hospitals are non-human entities, and as such they do not and can not have morals or ethics or religious rights or any of those other things that we humans have. Hospitals follow professional standards and law, not a moral compass. The law of Texas says that life support may not be withheld from a pregnant woman; it does not say it can't be removed from a dead woman.

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"Spacers" wrote:

Hospitals are non-human entities, and as such they do not and can not have morals or ethics or religious rights or any of those other things that we humans have. Hospitals follow professional standards and law, not a moral compass. The law of Texas says that life support may not be withheld from a pregnant woman; it does not say it can't be removed from a dead woman.

I can not remember, was your stance in the other debate that the hospital did or did not have the right to take the girl off life support?

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IIRC Stacey had the same viewpoint, it wasn't necessarily ethics of the CA hospital but that it wasn't in line w/state law.

Providers can have moral ethics, a hospital can and should not. It's a building.

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I hate whoppers

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

I can not remember, was your stance in the other debate that the hospital did or did not have the right to take the girl off life support?

In the Jahi McMath case I argued that the hospital's responsibility was to follow state law and professional standards. It's the same here, except that this hospital is applying the wrong law. It's applying a law that applies to living pregnant women, which Ms. Munoz is no longer. She's now a dead body, and she should be removed from life support. The fact that there is a parasite sustaining itself off the empty shell of her dead body is irrelevant because the husband has decided it is, which is his right and no one else's.

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"Spacers" wrote:

In the Jahi McMath case I argued that the hospital's responsibility was to follow state law and professional standards. It's the same here, except that this hospital is applying the wrong law. It's applying a law that applies to living pregnant women, which Ms. Munoz is no longer. She's now a dead body, and she should be removed from life support. The fact that there is a parasite sustaining itself off the empty shell of her dead body is irrelevant because the husband has decided it is, which is his right and no one else's.

Wow. This is not something that we are going to be able to debate.

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Please note that I never thought that this made a difference about whether the husband's wishes should be honored, but here is an update on the case:

Brain-dead Tarrant woman's fetus is 'distinctly abnormal,' attorneys say | Dallas Morning News

For those of you who felt that the hospital was within their rights to keep the dead woman on "life support" because we didn't know the condition of the fetus, does this change your opinion?

Personally, the parent in me is completely horrified that this poor baby may be doomed to a life of pain that his or her parents may have wished to prevent. As I noted, I would have believed he was within his rights to have the plug pulled regardless of if the child was normal, but now knowing that his child is most likely in for a life of suffering makes it that much more tragic and unethical to me. Before anyone accuses me of it (I've been reading the on line comments on this development), no, I do not believe that all children with fetal abnormalities "should be" aborted, as if those babies lives have no value. Not at all. But, as a parent myself, I would have wanted the ability to make a loving choice for my own child to decide if I thought they would be able to enjoy an acceptable quality of life. The idea that this child may well be in pain currently and for the rest of his/her life and apparently according to the state of TX the parent has no say about it or power to end it, literally churns my stomach.

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It doesn't change my mind. The abnormalities mentioned are not necessarily life-threatening and there is still no diagnosis that says that this child can't live a normal life. Who gets to say what is normal anyway?

One to two of every 1,000 babies are born with hydrocephalus, making it as common as Down’s syndrome and more common than spina bifida or brain tumors.

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

Please note that I never thought that this made a difference about whether the husband's wishes should be honored, but here is an update on the case:

Brain-dead Tarrant woman's fetus is 'distinctly abnormal,' attorneys say | Dallas Morning News

For those of you who felt that the hospital was within their rights to keep the dead woman on "life support" because we didn't know the condition of the fetus, does this change your opinion?

Personally, the parent in me is completely horrified that this poor baby may be doomed to a life of pain that his or her parents may have wished to prevent. As I noted, I would have believed he was within his rights to have the plug pulled regardless of if the child was normal, but now knowing that his child is most likely in for a life of suffering makes it that much more tragic and unethical to me. Before anyone accuses me of it (I've been reading the on line comments on this development), no, I do not believe that all children with fetal abnormalities "should be" aborted, as if those babies lives have no value. Not at all. But, as a parent myself, I would have wanted the ability to make a loving choice for my own child to decide if I thought they would be able to enjoy an acceptable quality of life. The idea that this child may well be in pain currently and for the rest of his/her life and apparently according to the state of TX the parent has no say about it or power to end it, literally churns my stomach.

My inner debate about this is if she is truly dead or not. If she is Dead, dead then I believe it should be up to the family about what to do and I do not hold any judgement in someone not wanting their wife's body left like this. If she was just in a never ending coma or persistive vegetative state then the fact that there is a baby should come into consideration. Even still, to me there is a difference between letting a baby die naturally because the mother is dead, and purposefully going out to end a child's life as in an abortion.

To me, if the baby has a non-life threatening birth defect is not a consideration. (I know others disagree, but my personal opinion) We would not differentiate between a healthy baby and a sick baby when it comes to a baby that is already born.

Again, I know that not everyone is going to agree with this position, but the question was asked if the health of the baby would make a difference in our opinion.

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She is brain dead. The hospital finally admitted to that, although it took a court order for them to turn over her medical records that confirmed it.

ETA: Even one of the people who drafted this law says it was never intended to be applied in this way:
"Mu?oz' legal petition also includes a supporting statement from SMU law professor Thomas Mayo, who helped craft the law in Texas' Health and Safety Code. Mayo said the drafting group never considered the application of the law to 'a dead person.'"

http://www.wfaa.com/news/local/tarrant/Affidavits-establish-arguments-of-husband-district-attorney-in-case-of-brain-dead-pregnant-woman-241750531.html

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Here is the brief that shows the hospitals interpretation of the law.

http://content.foxtvmedia.com/kdfw/pdf/1_23_14_munoz_repsonse.pdf

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The hospital is now agreeing the fetus is not viable.

Hospital, family concur brain-dead Texas woman's fetus 'not viable' - CNN.com

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"mom2robbie" wrote:

The hospital is now agreeing the fetus is not viable.

Hospital, family concur brain-dead Texas woman's fetus 'not viable' - CNN.com

There was never a question of the baby being viable as it was under 24 weeks and that is the earliest they consider a baby viable.

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The hospital was ordered to remove the ventilator.

Texas judge: Remove brain-dead woman from ventilator - CNN.com

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A Texas hospital said Sunday that it will remove life support from a pregnant, brain-dead woman following a judge's order that it was misapplying state law to disregard her family's wishes.(snip)"From the onset, JPS has said its role was not to make nor contest law but to follow it," the statement said. "On Friday, a state district judge ordered the removal of life-sustaining treatment from Marlise Munoz. The hospital will follow the court order."

Texas hospital to end care for brain-dead woman - SFGate

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A very sad case. I am glad that the judge put an end to it, and hope that the family can now have some closure and begin the healing process.

My point about the abnormal development of the fetus was just that the fetus had obviously suffered profound trauma that the hospital then continued to perpetuate. Had the hospital allowed the dead woman's body to...I don't even know what to say, not "die" because it was already dead, but to be in it's natural state, the baby would have died a quick and natural death with her as happens, sadly, when a pregnant woman dies. This prolonged tortoruous ending just seems so much worse to me. My heart still aches thinking about that baby. They say that a 20 week old fetus is able to feel pain - I hope that he or she wasn't in pain in the end, but it seems like with the hydrocephalus especially s/he might have been. My DH had non-septic meningitis several years ago which causes swelling of the meninges which puts pressure on the brain that I imagine would be similar to hydrocephalus and he was in agony. I really really hope that this baby was never aware enough to hurt while the hospital pulled their shenanigans. Sad

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My heart aches for the baby too. In one more week he could have possibly even survived on his own. Now he will never have the chance. I hoped until the very end that his father would change his mind and give him the chance to live.

I think the lawyers tried to make the baby sound more deformed than it actually was to get media support. If you look at any fetal development chart, the babies arms and legs are fully formed by 12 weeks. This woman didn't die until the baby was 14 weeks. So there is no way that lack of oxygen could have caused that kind of deformity.

Hydrocephalus is also very treatable.

Most of the newborns born with hydrocephalus will have a normal lifespan and approximately 40 to 50 percent will have normal intelligence. Seizure disorders have been diagnosed in about 10 percent of these children. The mortality rate for infants with hydrocephalus is approximately 5 percent.

Dr. Vincenzo Berghella, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia who has not treated Munoz, said the fetal abnormalities the family described appear to be genetic rather than caused by the mother’s pulmonary embolism or time on life support.

“All those things – the brain, the head, the heart, the legs – should have actually all been formed by 11 or 12 weeks,” said Berghella, a member of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists . “You cannot really get a congenital, structural heart defect after 12 weeks.”

Berghella said he can’t think of a genetic syndrome that includes all this fetus’s problems, and it will be hard to know its prognosis until a diagnosis can be made. This can be done through further ultrasounds and an amniocentesis, he said. The most serious issue seems to be the hydrocephalus.

Dr. Jennifer Ashton, a senior medical contributor for ABC News and practicing ob/gyn, said the lack of oxygen to the fetus during the mother’s suspected pulmonary embolism could have been harmful to the fetus, but they wouldn’t necessarily have caused the heart and brain abnormalities the lawyers described.

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/texas-fetus-abnormalities-mother-brain-dead/story?id=21639616

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The fact that hydrocephalus can be treated doesn't mean it's not painful. My husband's meningitis went away eventually too, but it still put him in crippling pain while it was happening, and he was a grown man with a pretty high tolerance to pain.

And I don't think that the problems with the heart, limbs, and brain were genetic defects - I think they were caused by the lack of oxygen and/or having the baby develop inside a dead body. It seems like a really big coincidence that this poor baby was left inside a dead body for like 10 weeks and also just so happened to have all of these fetal deformities, doesn't it? I guess we can't know for sure until they complete an autopsy or whatever they plan on doing.

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

The fact that hydrocephalus can be treated doesn't mean it's not painful. My husband's meningitis went away eventually too, but it still put him in crippling pain while it was happening, and he was a grown man with a pretty high tolerance to pain.

I am not saying she should have been kept on life support, but would you have considered ending your husbands life because he was in pain? Of course not.

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

The fact that hydrocephalus can be treated doesn't mean it's not painful. My husband's meningitis went away eventually too, but it still put him in crippling pain while it was happening, and he was a grown man with a pretty high tolerance to pain.

And I don't think that the problems with the heart, limbs, and brain were genetic defects - I think they were caused by the lack of oxygen and/or having the baby develop inside a dead body. It seems like a really big coincidence that this poor baby was left inside a dead body for like 10 weeks and also just so happened to have all of these fetal deformities, doesn't it? I guess we can't know for sure until they complete an autopsy or whatever they plan on doing.

Yes it is a pretty BIG coincidence, one that the doctors above said wouldn't have happened. That's why I don't think it is true and was just exaggerated by the lawyers to get sympathy. I'm sure they won't do an autopsy what would be the point? And even if they did they wouldn't release the medical records to the public.

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

I am not saying she should have been kept on life support, but would you have considered ending your husbands life because he was in pain? Of course not.

Of course not, but then he wasn't already dead, unlike the woman on life support. That's a little bit of a different scenario.

Gloria, I don't know what to say about not believing the lawyers about the extent of the baby's deformities. As I said before, I felt that the husband had a right to say that he did not wish to have his dead wife's body used in this manner even before the part about the baby's health came out. It doesn't change my answer, just as the status of the baby's health doesn't change yours either. To me it just adds another layer of "bad" to an already "bad" situation. I have a hard time believing that they would just straight up lie about it, but you may be right that we'll never know one way or the other.

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We will never know if this baby's deformities were a result of his mother dying at such a critical point in his development, or if they were already there. Even with the physical deformities, there was no way to know if the baby's brain survived because there's no way to do an EEG in utero. And if the deformities were already there, in all honesty, given the fact that the father didn't want to subject his baby to the physical problems he suspected might be there, this couple sounds like the kind of people who would have opted for an abortion if they knew those problems existed.

And Gloria, your assertion that the baby's arms & legs would have been fully formed and would have continued growing normally ignores the fact that they were deprived of oxygen for a substantial amount of time. Even had the legs been fully formed at 12 weeks gestation, they would have been only about an inch long, meaning they would grow another 6-7 inches before birth. Things that are deprived of oxygen die, such as what happened to the mother's brain, and body parts that are deprived of oxygen do not continue growing, at least not normally. And it wasn't just the legs that were deformed; it was the lower body which IMHO is even worse than just deformed legs.

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

Of course not, but then he wasn't already dead, unlike the woman on life support. That's a little bit of a different scenario.

My point was that all other factors aside, how much pain the baby was in would not determine if he was aloud to live or not.

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It seems to me with all of the health problems and concerns it would be like any other time a child was on life support (saying the mother was the life support) (again, not the same as a healthy baby and a healthy mother), that it would be up to the closest kin (the father) if he wanted his baby kept on the life support.

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

My point was that all other factors aside, how much pain the baby was in would not determine if he was aloud to live or not.

I agree with you there - it was always only the husband's decision about whether his wife's body was kept on "life support" even if the fetus was normal IMO. But I still feel that drawing out the potentially painful existence of a profoundly damaged fetus against the parent's will is another reason why this hospital did wrong.

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Isn't it strange that now they were able to tell the sex of the baby. I guess she wasn't so deformed after all. Who would have thought that the lawyers would have made it sound worse than it was?

Erick Mu?oz told Channel 8 that a sonogram was taken so he could know the sex of the unborn child. He named her Nicole, his wife’s middle name. He said his wife made him a better man.

Husband of pregnant, brain-dead woman left to grieve days after wife taken off life support | Dallas Morning News

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Maybe they were able to test a sample of her cells? Kind of like in an amnio?

Having sex organs doesn't make the rest of the deformities non existent.

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