The Newsroom    Published Monday, Jan. 27, 2014, 10:02 AM
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What Texas should learn from Marlise Munoz

Daily Texan, January 26, 2014

At 11:29 a.m. Sunday, officials at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth discontinued the life support of Marlise Munoz, a brain-dead, pregnant Texas woman who had been kept breathing for two months against the wishes of her family but, according to the hospital, in compliance with the laws of the state of Texas, which prevent a hospital from withdrawing or withholding “life-sustaining treatment … from a pregnant patient.” It took a court order from district Judge R.H. Wallace Jr. to convince the hospital to fulfill Munoz and her husband’s wishes. The law, in reality, is anything but clear. There is controversy in the medical ethics community over the criteria for “brain death.” The law itself does not make clear whether the pregnancy clause is applicable to a woman who is dead, even if her fetus remains alive. “There is controversy about the definition of brain death,” Bill Winslade, a professor of medical ethics at UTMB, told the Texan. “But brain death in Texas is based on the current medical criteria.”
 




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