What would you do?

A story from NYT: Pregnant, and Forced to Stay on Life Support.

The diagnosis was crushing and irrevocable. At 33, Marlise Munoz was brain-dead after collapsing on her kitchen floor in November from what appeared to be a blood clot in her lungs.

But as her parents and her husband prepared to say their final goodbyes in the intensive care unit at John Peter Smith Hospital here and to honor her wish not to be left on life support, they were stunned when a doctor told them the hospital was not going to comply with their instructions. Mrs. Munoz was 14 weeks pregnant, the doctor said, and Texas is one of more than two dozen states that prohibit, with varying degrees of strictness, medical officials from cutting off life support to a pregnant patient.

More than a month later, Mrs. Munoz remains connected to life-support machines on the third floor of the I.C.U., where a medical team monitors the heartbeat of the fetus, now in its 20th week of development. Her case has become a strange collision of law, medicine, the ethics of end-of-life care and the issues swirling around abortion — when life begins and how it should be valued.

One thought on “What would you do?

  1. Ellen Wohrle

    I believe that the patients wishes not to be on life support should be honored- Her husband has a 14 mo old to care for and if this fetus is brain damaged- how could he care for a disabled child and a toddler.? They are both paramedics- they know the consequences of a fetus without oxygen and life support was discussed between them.

    Reply

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