A two-month saga ended today in Fort Worth, Texas when a hospital deactivated the ventilator that was keeping a brain-dead pregnant woman alive. Officials at John Peter Smith Hopsital did so on the order of a judge, who sided with the woman’s family.
Marlise Munoz had been attached to a ventilator that was keeping her heart and lungs working since late November, when her husband found her unconscious in their kitchen. Doctors declared Munoz brain-dead and her family insisted that she did not wish to be kept alive artificially, but Texas law stated that the hospital had to keep her body working because she was carrying a fetus.
The fetus, at 14 weeks, was not viable. But Texas’ draconian laws and views regarding how to handle pregnancies meant that Munoz and her family had to endure a situation they had no interest in being a part of. “May Marlise Munoz finally rest in peace, and her family find the strength to complete what has been an unbearably long and arduous journey,” said the family’s lawyers in a statement.0