Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

January-24-14

Fetus of Brain-Dead Woman Kept On Life Support Against Wishes Found Deformed

The fetus of Marlise Munoz, the pregnant, brain-dead Texas woman who has been kept on life support by her hospital against her and her family's wishes, has been reported to be "distinctly abnormal."

According to attorneys representing Munoz' family in a lawsuit against the hospital, the fetus' lower extremities are very deformed, making its gender impossible to determine. It has hydrocephalus, or fluid building up in the skull, and it may have heart problems, but it cannot be determined because of the condition of Munoz' body. The attorneys said the fetus is "gestating within a dead and deteriorating body as the horrified family looks on."

Marlise Munoz has been brain dead since November 26, but her hospital will not let her off life support because of her pregnancy. Munoz, who was a paramedic, made it clear when she was alive that she never wanted to be kept on life support with no hope of recovery if anything ever happened to her.

But when Munoz collapsed and was found with no breath or pulse in November, possibly caused by a pulmonary embolism, she was 14 weeks pregnant. She is now 22 weeks pregnant. She had been without oxygen for too long for her brain to recover, but her heart was revived by electric shock, and doctors found a fetal heartbeat. Under the Texas Advance Directives Act, the state of Texas requires that "a person may not withdraw or withhold life-sustaining treatment under this subchapter from a pregnant patient." The hospital interpreted this to invalidate her wishes, even though experts interviewed by the Associated Press said a brain-dead patient would not be covered by the law. A 2012 report by the Center for Women Policy Studies found that Texas is one of 12 US states that invalidate a woman's end-of-life wishes if she is pregnant.

A hearing is scheduled in the lawsuit for today.

Media Resources: Star-Telegram 1/22/14; Al Jazeera 1/23/14; Center for Women Policy Studies August 2012; Feminist Newswire 1/6/14


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

10/22/2014 Students Protest Fordham University's Anti-Birth Control Policy - Students at Fordham University are engaged in a battle against the New York City Catholic school's anti-birth control policy. Students for Sex & Gender Equality and Safety (SAGES) has launched a petition drive, calling on Fordham to provide free and confidential access to birth control and STI testing on-campus, free condoms, professional gynecological services at the university, and resources for pregnant women, among other things. . . .
 
10/22/2014 Doctors Warn That Measure 1 Would End In Vitro Fertilization in North Dakota - Doctors at North Dakota's only clinic offering in vitro fertilization (IVF) are speaking out to warn voters that Measure 1, a proposed personhood amendment in the state, would make the practice illegal. Dr. . . .
 
10/21/2014 Afghanistan's New First Lady Advances Women's Issues - Just a few days after moving to the presidential palace, Afghanistan's new First Lady Rula Ghani said that she hopes to encourage greater respect for women. Rula Ghani already broke tradition by participating in her husband, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai's, campaign for President. . . .