Family of brain dead pregnant women sues hospital

By Kyle Johnson,

The family of Marlise Munoz has sued the John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas because even though she is brain dead, she has been kept on life support because she is 14 weeks pregnant.

The 33-year-old paramedic suffered a pulmonary embolism two months ago and was pronounced brain dead, but a Texas law has kept the her on life support until the baby can be safely born, reports ABC News.

Her husband, Erick Munoz, is hoping that though one law is keeping her on life support that another one will allow the family to pull the plug and begin to heal. The Munoz family believes because she is brain dead that a Texas Health and Safety Code that says death is "irreversible cessation of the person's spontaneous respiratory and circulatory functions" will help them.

According to Reuters, the complaint reads, "Marlise Munoz's death is a horrible and tragic circumstance, but by no means should (the hospital) be entitled to continue cutting into her deceased body in front of her husband and family under the guise of 'life sustaining' treatment."

Erick Munoz believes that though his wife is on life support that it may already be too late for the 14-week-old fetus as it is possible that the blood clot that killed his wife could also have kept oxygen and nutrients flowing to the womb for a short amount of time.

Hospital officials seem willing to let the matter go to court to get clarification on the situation. They previously stated, "The courts are the appropriate venue to provide clarity, direction and resolution in this matter."



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