Marlise Machado Muñoz and Erick Muñoz with their only child.
Fort Worth hospital disconnected a Tarrant County pregnant woman who is legally brain dead from a life support machine.
By H. Nelson Goodson
January 26, 2014
Fort Worth, Texas - On Sunday, the John Peter Smith Hospital medical staff disconnected Marlise Machado Muñoz, 33, from a life support ventilator, which kept the legally brain dead pregnant woman alive. The life support ventilator was removed at 11:30 a.m. and shortly after Muñoz stopped breathing. The hospital complied with a decision reached on Friday by a district judge to disconnect Muñoz by Monday.
Her body was released to her husband, Erick Muñoz who filed a lawsuit to disconnect his wife from a life support ventilator.
Last Friday, 96th District Court Tarrant County Judge William R. H. Wallace Jr. ordered the John Peter Smith Hospital to disconnect Muñoz from life supports. Muñoz has been brain dead, since last November, but was 14 weeks pregnant and the hospital kept her in life supports, despite family, husband and her wish not to be kept alive by a machine.
The hospital maintained that they were keeping her alive due to a Texas law that allows a hospital to keep a person alive in order to save an unborn child. In Muñoz case, she was declared brain dead and several doctors indicated the child would have medical complications and a strong possibility the child would not be born in a normal state.
The sex of the fetus has not been determined, according to the hospital. The hospital doctors finally realized the fetus was not viable.
Erick Muñoz, Marlise's husband who is firefighter and paramedic had said, that his wife had decided not to be kept alive by a machine. Marlise was also a paramedic by profession. They have a young boy and believed they were having a girl.
Muñoz in behave of his wife filed a lawsuit on January 12 in Texas seeking for the hospital to abide by Marlise's wish not to be kept alive, which finally got her final wish on Sunday.