The battle for the life of Marlise Munoz’s unborn child is finally over. Today, the brain dead pregnant mother was removed from life support, effectively killing her 22.5-week-old unborn baby.
A Fort Worth, Texas hospital has removed a pregnant, brain-dead woman from life support after agreeing to comply with a judge’s order, her lawyers say.
“Our client, Erick Munoz, has authorized us to give notice that today, at approximately 11:30 a.m. central time, in accordance with the order of the 96th District Court of Tarrant County, Texas, issued Friday, January 24, 2014, Marlise Munoz’s body was disconnected from ‘life support’ and released to Mr. Munoz.,” Heather King and Jessica Janicek said in a statement. “The Munoz and Machado families will now proceed with the somber task of laying Marlise Munoz’s body to rest, and grieving over the great loss that has been suffered. May Marlise Munoz finally rest in peace, and her family find the strength to complete what has been an unbearably long and arduous journey.”
The hospital agreed to remove Munoz from life support after a judge ruled that the hospital was misinterpreting state law and that it must honor the family’s wishes. Erick Munoz, Marlise’s husband and the father of her unborn baby, said that this is what she would have wanted. At just short of 23 weeks of pregnancy, the family only needed to wait another week to attempt to save the baby’s life: doctors had originally planned to assess the baby’s viability at 24 weeks and potentially perform a c-section. But, as Jill Stanek points out, the family very disturbingly admitted that they had no concern for the child that Munoz was carrying.
This story was always a tragedy from the beginning, but now, it has become even more so. Instead of losing one beloved family member, the Munoz family has now lost two. It’s difficult to see how throwing away the life of a baby can somehow make the loss of that baby’s mother any easier to bear.