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Marlise Munoz: Pregnant woman on life support to have plug pulled, 'not viable'

Marlise Munoz is trending in the news this evening as the pregnant woman who tragically suffered a pulmonary embolism. Her survival, as well as that of her fourteen-week-old fetus at the time of her collapse, have both been deemed “not viable” by a district judge this week. Web Pro News reports this Friday, Jan. 24, 2014, that Munoz’s husband, Erick, was threatening to sue the hospital if they did not pull the plug from her life support so that she and her unborn baby may die peacefully.

Photo of a 14 week old fetus
Photo of a 14 week old fetus
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

A long court battle surrounding Marlise Munoz and her child is coming to a close this weekend. A Tarrant County District Judge has made it known that John Peter Smith Hospital, of Fort Worth, has only until this upcoming Monday evening to officially disconnect the 33-year-old and still-pregnant woman from life support. The aspiring mother and former paramedic’s husband, Erick Munoz, is said to be devastated at the loss of his wife and unborn child, but was adamant in pulling the plug from his spouse’s ventilator since Nov. 2013.

Since John Peter Smith Hospital would not comply with his wishes for his comatose spouse, Munoz sued the hospital. However, the Fort Worth medical center said that by state law, they were unable to do so. As a pregnant woman, Marlise Munoz could not be removed from life support because a pregnant female may not be legally removed from a life-maintaining ventilator if it might cause any danger or harm the unborn child.

Nonetheless, the new court decision has determined that the plug will be pulled from Munoz by this Monday at the latest due to both the woman and her fetus being deemed “not viable.” Munoz was said to be approximately fourteen weeks pregnant when she suddenly collapsed; it was soon discovered that she had suffered a pulmonary embolism. Now, Munoz is in her second trimester, while the court affidavit has declared that her unborn baby would not likely survive, even if its mother were to remain on life support.

“Erick Munoz considers his wife Marlise Munoz legally dead, and according to his own statement, believes that ‘to further conduct surgical procedures on a deceased body is nothing short of outrageous.’”