Pregnant Woman in Texas Forced to Stay on Life Support Despite Family’s Wishes
A woman in Texas is at the heart of a controversy about the right to life as doctors continue to keep her on life support after a fatal crash, due to her pregnancy.
The New York Times reports that Marlise Munoz was declared brain dead after she collapsed at home with doctors at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, believe was a blood clot in her lungs. At the hospital, Marlise’s family was told by doctors that she had no brain activity, but they said that they would refuse to take her off of life support, because she was 14 weeks pregnant.
That was over a month ago, and the fetus in now in it’s twentieth week of development. Hospital staff monitors the heartbeat while Marlise remains on life support. Marlise’s family is incensed by the hospital’s refusal to comply with their wishes. Marlise’s mother, Lynne Machado, told the Times, “It’s not a matter of pro-choice and pro-life. It’s about a matter of our daughter’s wishes not being honored by the state of Texas.”
The hospital spokesperson for John Smith Hospital says they are merely complying with state law. While the Machado family has not taken legal action against the hospital or the state, they say that they have not ruled it out. Thirty-one states currently have laws restricting the rights of pregnant mothers on life support.
What do you think. Is this the right thing to do, or is it completely out of line?