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Old 12-24-2013, 10:38 AM  
dirk digler dirk digler is offline
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Moral Dilemma: Wife is brain dead but pregnant

Interesting story and I am not sure what the right answer is though I tend to side with the wishes of the person over the state. I don't know...

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http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/23/health...html?hpt=hp_t2

Erick Munoz wants to see his wife's wish fulfilled this holiday season, but it's one that carries ethical and legal challenges: To be taken off of life support. Marlise Munoz, 33, is in serious condition in the intensive care unit at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, hospital officials said.

She is unconscious and on a ventilator, her husband told CNN affiliate WFAA, but she wouldn't have wanted her life sustained by a machine.
"We talked about it. We're both paramedics," he told WFAA. "We've seen things out in the field. We both knew that we both didn't want to be on life support."

Complicating an already difficult situation is that Munoz is also pregnant, about 18 weeks along, WFAA reported. Texas state law prohibits withdrawing or withholding life-sustaining treatment from a pregnant patient, regardless of her wishes.

Patients can indicate their future wishes about medical treatment, in the event that they are unable to communicate them, through forms called advance directives. But in Texas, under the Health and Safety Code, such a form includes the provision "I understand that under Texas law this Directive has no effect if I have been diagnosed as pregnant."

Erick Munoz told WFAA doctors said his wife may have suffered a pulmonary embolism, which happens when blood clots travel to the lungs from elsewhere in the body. They do not know how long the baby went without nutrients and oxygen.

The hospital would not release specific details about Marlise Munoz's condition, but officials said the hospital would follow Texas law regarding care during pregnancy.

"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."

The husband and wife, both paramedics in the Tarrant County area, have a 14-month-old son named Mateo.

Erick Munoz and Marlise Munoz's mother did not immediately respond to requests for comment from CNN.

Erick Munoz found his wife unconscious on November 26, around 2 a.m. He performed CPR on her and then called 911, WFAA reported.

Since that day, the pregnant woman has been on life support, her husband said. Tests have shown that the fetus has a normal heart beat, he said. At 24 weeks, doctors may know more about when the fetus can be taken out, Munoz's family told WFAA. Doctors have also discussed the possibility of taking the fetus to full term.

He told WFAA that his wife had said she would not want to be kept alive by machine, and said he has reached "the point where you wish that your wife's body would stop."

Munoz wears his wife's pink and blue bracelets on his wrist, WFAA reported. Her wedding ring is on his pinkie.

When Munoz walks in the door, he said his son Mateo is waiting for his mother to show up.

"You can see it in his eyes," Munoz said.
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Old 12-24-2013, 10:41 AM   #2
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I can't imagine casting aside my unborn child just so I don't delay my wife's wishes in this situation.
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Old 12-24-2013, 10:47 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jspchief View Post
I can't imagine casting aside my unborn child just so I don't delay my wife's wishes in this situation.
Totally understand but the problem is they don't know the health of the baby\fetus.
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Old 12-24-2013, 10:48 AM   #4
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Old 12-24-2013, 10:50 AM   #5
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It might not be the prettiest line we've ever drawn in the sand but we still do allow abortions up to 20wks. It might not be as hard a dilemma for the dad.
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Old 12-24-2013, 10:51 AM   #6
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I don't think there is a right answer here other than it's no one's choice but the family.

God Bless and prayers for this family.
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Old 12-24-2013, 10:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katipan View Post
It might not be the prettiest line we've ever drawn in the sand but we still do allow abortions up to 20wks. It might not be as hard a dilemma for the dad.
I am curious how long they would have to wait in order to deliver the baby? I am thinking several months at least. If I was the husband and felt so strongly about respecting her wishes I would move her to a different state.
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Old 12-24-2013, 10:59 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Garcia Bronco View Post
I don't think there is a right answer here other than it's no one's choice but the family.

God Bless and prayers for this family.
THIS! There is no "right" choice. To have the government dictate your choice is un-American.
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Old 12-24-2013, 11:00 AM   #9
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This.
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Old 12-24-2013, 11:08 AM   #10
Katipan Katipan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirk digler View Post
I am curious how long they would have to wait in order to deliver the baby? I am thinking several months at least. If I was the husband and felt so strongly about respecting her wishes I would move her to a different state.
They are pretty amazing with how early they can deliver babies these days but the developmental risks are just so huge. Think they really like making it to 6 months which isn't too far away for her. And if they're going 2 months would 2 more on top of that be too unreasonable to ask?

All around sad and it appears I should have yet another qualifying conversation with my family.
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Old 12-24-2013, 11:23 AM   #11
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And if they're going 2 months would 2 more on top of that be too unreasonable to wait
thats your opinion. The family has a different opinion. But, your and the families don't matter. Only the governments opinion matters. This is a very slippery road.
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Old 12-24-2013, 11:23 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katipan View Post
They are pretty amazing with how early they can deliver babies these days but the developmental risks are just so huge. Think they really like making it to 6 months which isn't too far away for her. And if they're going 2 months would 2 more on top of that be too unreasonable to ask?

All around sad and it appears I should have yet another qualifying conversation with my family.
After re-reading the story they can find out much more in about 6 weeks. I would wait but it is not like he has any choice in the matter unless he moves her to a different state.
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Old 12-24-2013, 11:33 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigRedChief View Post
THIS! There is no "right" choice. To have the government dictate your choice is un-American.
What if she was 8 months pregnant? Could he still then elect to just pull the plug?
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Old 12-24-2013, 11:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigRedChief View Post
thats your opinion. The family has a different opinion. But, your and the families don't matter. Only the governments opinion matters. This is a very slippery road.
I agree with all that except I don't think it's my opinion As much as I was just talking out loud. I think I would want whatever my husband needed at that point. Not that it would necessarily matter.
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Old 12-24-2013, 11:39 AM   #15
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I'm not going to lose any sleep over this, whatever they decide. These stories are so rare and irrelevant to 99.999% of society that I can't get worked up over it.
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