Let her rest in peace

Judge or­ders hos­pi­tal to halt life sup­port for brain dead, preg­nant woman.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - HEALTH - By DIANE JEN­NINGS

ERICK Munoz may fi­nally get to bury his preg­nant wife. A Fort Worth judge or­dered John Peter Smith Hos­pi­tal (JPS) to grant the hus­band’s re­quest to with­draw Marlise Munoz’s life sup­port.

As part of the rul­ing, state Dis­trict Judge R.H. Wal­lace or­dered the hos­pi­tal to of­fi­cially de­clare the 33-year-old Hal­tom City woman dead.

Af­ter the judge’s de­ci­sion, Munoz put his head down and sobbed qui­etly.

His mother-in-law, Lynne Machado, pat­ted him on the back and cried with him.

Marlise col­lapsed on Nov 26 af­ter pos­si­bly suf­fer­ing a pul­monary em­bolism. The hos­pi­tal ac­knowl­edged two days later that she was brain dead, but did not make an of­fi­cial pro­nounce­ment of death.

In a case that gained na­tion­wide at­ten­tion in the US, the hos­pi­tal kept her body go­ing with ma­chines against her fam­ily’s wishes.

From the start, emo­tion­ally charged de­bate cen­tred on end-of-life is­sues for a preg­nant woman and the rights of the foe­tus.

JPS of­fi­cials cited a Texas law that pro­hibits with­draw­ing life sup­port from a preg­nant woman and the state’s de­sire to pro­tect the life of the un­born child.

Wal­lace said the law cited by the hos­pi­tal did not ap­ply to Marlise, be­cause “Mrs Munoz is de­ceased”. The or­der gives the hos­pi­tal time to ap­peal. Shortly af­ter the rul­ing, hos­pi­tal of­fi­cials said they “will be con­sult­ing with the Tarrant County dis­trict at­tor­ney’s of­fice.” As­sis­tant Dis­trict At­tor­ney Larry Thomp­son, who ar­gued the case, did not com­ment.

Munoz also de­clined to make a state­ment af­ter the rul­ing, but at­tor­ney Heather King said the fam­ily “can now move for­ward”.

When his wife fell ill, the Crow­ley para­medic re­sus­ci­tated her and she was rushed to JPS.

Con­cluded: Munoz fol­low­ing his lawyers as he leaves the court­room, af­ter a judge ruled that his wife and un­born child could be re­moved from life sup­port. — Pho­tos MCT

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