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Husband brain dead woman: Husband wants brain dead wife off life support, sues

A hospital bed
A hospital bed
Blogotron / Wikimedia Commons

The husband of a brain dead woman has filed a lawsuit against the hospital because he says that the hospital is keeping his wife alive against her family's wishes. On Jan. 14, ABC News reported that Erick Munoz has asked a judge to order John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, to take his wife, Marlise, off of life support. A doctor at the hospital has told the family that Marlise is brain dead but she is still on life support despite the family saying that they wanted to take her off.

Marlise fell unconscious back in November and has been on life support with no brain activity ever since. She and her husband are both paramedics and, according to Erick Munoz, they have talked about such situations. Erick says that his wife wouldn't have wanted to "live" like this -- and her parents agree -- but the hospital won't comply.

The husband of the brain dead woman is trying to overturn the hospital's decision but there is a state law that "prohibits life-saving treatment from being denied to pregnant patients." Of course this protects the fetus which is a debate in and of itself. Since Marlise is legally and medically dead, however, experts say that the hospital is enforcing the law incorrectly.

The hospital says that they are standing by their decision and that they are just following the law. If a judge orders them to do otherwise, Marlise will be taken off of life support and her family can continue to grieve and heal.

The husband of the brain dead woman just wants peace after the past two months. As for what happened to Marlise, there has not been an immediate answer. A pulmonary embolism is a possibility according to ABC News.

© Effie Orfanides 2014

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