Attorneys representing the husband of a pregnant, brain-dead Texas woman being kept on life support despite his protests is carrying a fetus that is ‘distinctly abnormal’ after being deprived of oxygen for an unknown period of time.
Marlise Munoz remains hooked up to machines in a Fort Worth hospital, while her husband and the hospital are locked in a court battle about whether to retain life support.
The case has raised questions about end-of-life care and whether a pregnant woman who is considered legally and medically dead should be kept on life support for the sake of a fetus. The case has gotten the attention of groups on either side of the abortion debate, as anti-abortion groups argue Munoz’s fetus deserves a chance to be born.
Erick Munoz said his wife, a fellow paramedic, was clear with him before he found her unconscious on November 26: If she ever fell into this kind of condition, pull life support. But John Peter Smith Hospital says it’s bound by state law that prohibits the withdrawal of treatment from a pregnant patient, although several experts interviewed by The Associated Press have said the hospital is misapplying the law.
Munoz’s attorneys, Heather King and Jessica Hall Janicek, issued a statement Wednesday describing the condition of the fetus, now believed to be at about 22 weeks’ gestation. King and Janicek based their statement on medical records they received from the hospital.