A man reportedly is fighting a Texas law to get his pregnant wife removed from life support, which he says were her wishes before she was declared brain dead.
Texas man Erick Munoz found his wife Marlise unconscious on their living room floor at 2:00 a.m. on Nov. 26, WFAA in Dallas-Fort Worth reports. Munoz, a paramedic, began CPR and called 911, and his wife — also a paramedic — was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. She apparently experienced a pulmonary embolism, a potentially fatal blood clot.
“You just never think it’s going to be you,” he told the station.
Marlise was 14 weeks pregnant at the time, so doctors told the family they would provide all life-saving measures to her in order to comply with a rule under the Texas Health and Safety Code.
That rule states, “a person may not withdraw or withhold life-sustaining treatment under this subchapter from a pregnant patient.”
But, Erick says he and his wife had discussed and mutually agreed upon “do not resuscitate” (DNR) orders, though one was never signed. She has not shown brain activity since, and doctors are unsure how long the fetus was without oxygen and nutrients, so it’s unknown whether the fetus is even viable.
“I don’t agree with this law… I don’t,” he said, adding, he doesn’t expect many people to side with him on this.
A hospital spokesperson told CBS News that the facility follows state law.
“Our responsibility at JPS Health Network is to be a good corporate citizen while also providing quality care for our patients,” J.R. Labbe said in an email. “In all cases, JPS will follow the law as it applies to healthcare in the state of Texas. And this specific state law says life-sustaining treatment cannot be withheld or withdrawn from a pregnant patient.”
One bioethicist not involved in the case considers the Texas law both unethical and unconstitutional, arguing it violates individual liberties.