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

1/26/2015 Anti-Choice Extremists Target Abortion Clinic Director in Kansas - Anti-abortion extremists have taken to protesting outside the home of Julie Burkhart, the CEO and founder of the Trust Women Foundation and the Executive Director of the South Wind Women's Center. In the wake of the 42nd anniversary of Supreme Court decision Roe v. . . .
 
1/26/2015 Egyptian Court Sentences Doctor In Female Genital Mutilation Case - An Egyptian appeals court convicted and sentenced a doctor today for performing female genital mutilation (FGM) that lead to a 13-year-old girl's death. . . .
 
1/23/2015 #HeForShe Campaign Launches Pilot Effort Aimed at Institutional Equality - The United Nations' gender equality campaign #HeForShe has launched a new program called IMPACT 10X10X10. United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson, together with UN Women Executive DirectorPhumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, introduced the one-year pilot effort aimed at encouraging corporations, universities, and governments to play an active role in enhancing women's empowerment and equality in Davos, Switzerland today at the World Economic Forum. "Women need to be equal participants in our homes, societies, in our governments, and in our workplaces," Watson said. First introduced in September, HeForShe is a solidarity movement that calls on men and boys to confront gender inequalities that face women and girls globally. . . .