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Legally dead woman forced to stay ‘alive’ for fetus

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On a segment of CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, the debate got heated about a brain dead woman kept “alive” for the sake of her fetus.

The woman in question is 33 year-old Marlisa Munoz, who is over 20 weeks pregnant. She is being kept alive solely by a respirator and other life support equipment. It is reported that she has absolutely no brain activity. Under many jurisdictions, she is considered legally dead. However, Texas law requires that she remain on life support until the fetus is born, so John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, TX is refusing to remove her ventilator, despite the wishes of her family.

Munoz has been declared brain dead since she collapsed in her kitchen in late November. Before she was hospitalized, she and her husband worked as paramedics, and she was the mother of one child.

Erick Munoz, Marlisa’s husband, has hired lawyers to fight against the decision. His claim is that his wife’s wishes were to be removed from life support if it were to ever happen. Her parents are supportive of this choice.

On Anderson Cooper 360, it was divulged that the fetus is abnormal and has deformities. In particular, the lower limbs are undeveloped and the sex of the baby cannot be determined. Also, the fetus suffers from hydrocephalus, which is a large accumulation of fluid around the brain. There are major concerns about the viability of the fetus.

A hearing is scheduled for Friday to determine the outcome.

What are your thoughts on the topic? Does Roe v. Wade apply? Is this an extenuating circumstance? Should doctors force the family to keep Munoz alive because of her fetus? Share your comment and opinions.

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