Thursday, October 02, 2014 Headlines & Global News

Husband of Pregnant Woman Asking to Remove Life Support

By Julie S | Dec 24, 2013 12:04 PM EST

Husband of Pregnant Woman Asking to Remove Life Support
Life support monitor (Photo : Reuters)

While others fight for the life support to stay on their loved ones, it is a different story for this husband who wants to get his pregnant wife off the life support. He claimed that it was his wife’s wish.

Erick Munoz is willing to take it into court just to fulfill his wife’s wish who told him that she wouldn’t want to be on a machine. His wife Marlise, 33, is in the intensive care unit at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, and has been on life support because pulmonary embolism.

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"We talked about it. We're both paramedics," Erick told WFAA. "We've seen things out in the field. We both knew that we both didn't want to be on life support."

To make things more complicated, Marlise is 18 weeks pregnant and it is a state violation to remove a pregnant woman from life support even if she wishes. She has signed a form which has a provision: "I understand that under Texas law this Directive has no effect if I have been diagnosed as pregnant."

Pulmonary embolism is a sudden blockage of the arteries to the lungs usually caused by blood clots. The condition is rarely fatal but can cause serious damage to the lungs. The concern of the doctors now is the baby as it may not be receiving the ample amount of nutrients and oxygen needed.

The hospital already said that they will not listen to Erick since his wife has signed the agreement.

"We have a responsibility as a good corporate citizen here in Tarrant County to also provide the highest quality care we can for all of our patients," said J.R. Labbe, vice president of communications and community affairs for JPS Health Network, in a statement.

"But at all times, we will follow the law as it is applicable to health care in the state of Texas. And state law here says you cannot withhold or withdraw life sustaining treatment for a pregnant patient. It's that clear."

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