Husband Files Suit to Stop Pregnant Wife’s Life Support, Kill His Unborn Child

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 14, 2014   |   2:07PM   |   Fort Worth, TX

Marlise Munoz collapsed in her home last November from an apparent blood clot in her lungs when she was 14 weeks pregnant with her second child. Her husband and other family members have asked the John Peter Smith Hospital in Ft. Worth to remove Marlise from life support after they were told she was “brain dead.” Ending life support would also end her unborn baby’s life.

So far John Peter Smith Hospital officials have refused to follow the family’s request, citing a Texas law that prohibits hospitals from removing life support from pregnant women.

Now, Erick Munoz, who says a doctor has told him his wife is brain dead, is filing suit.

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 fell unconscious in November while pregnant.

But John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth says it can’t follow Erick Munoz’s directive due to a state law that prohibits life-saving treatment from being denied to pregnant patients. Experts familiar with the Texas law say the hospital is incorrectly applying the statute because Munoz would be considered legally and medically dead.

Munoz found his wife unconscious in the early morning on Nov. 26. The family says it doesn’t know the exact cause of her condition, though a pulmonary embolism is a possibility. Marlise Munoz was 14 weeks pregnant at the time.

The health of the fetus is unknown. Munoz is believed to have been without oxygen for some time before her husband found her.

The designation of “brain death” is a controversial one and presents moral and ethical issues, especially when the life of a baby is involved. There are many cases where babies have survived after the mothers have experienced similar situations to that of Marlise Munoz. There is a very strong possibility that Marlise’s baby could survive, given a little more time.

“We feel great compassion for the family of Marlise Munoz and her pre-born baby. No one ever wants to be in their difficult and tragic situation,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “Marlise wanted this baby, and as long as there is a chance that he or she can be saved, we support John Peter Smith Hospital in their bid to follow the law and protect this baby’s life.”



Writing at LifeNews, Calvin Frieberger says abortion activists are upset.

As Newsbusters’ Katie Yoder documents, pro-aborts far and wide are seething with rage over this. But curiously, that’s despite the fact that almost none of their token justifications are present. Delivery will no longer affect Marlise’s well-being, and as Cox points out, whatever end-of-life wishes she had told Erick almost certainly didn’t account for the remote possibility that ending her life would also end her son or daughter’s, in what is presumably a desired pregnancy.

That means a man is presuming to make a woman’s reproductive decision for her—with the full backing of the supposed “reproductive rights” champions. Apparently the outcome of a dead baby is all that matters.