Judge orders brain dead pregnant mom removed from life support – pro-lifers respond

Update at 4:17 p.m.:

District Judge R.H. Wallace ruled Friday afternoon the brain-dead, pregnant mother being kept alive at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth should be removed from life support.

The state could appeal before the decision can be carried out!

Judge Wallace said Mrs. Muñoz must be removed from life support by 5 p.m. Monday.

Muñoz husband, Erick Muñoz, declined to comment as he left the courtroom. His attorney Jessica Janicek said justice was done.

Larry M. Thompson, attorney for the hospital, referred comment to JPS.

Munoz’s other attorney, Heather King, would not discuss the hospital’s argument, noting that JPS had the option to appeal the decision by Monday afternoon.

Read more from the DMN and WFAA.

District Judge R.H. Wallace listened to an hour of arguments Friday afternoon, and both sides agree that Marlise Muñoz’s fetus is not viable and she is dead.

It’s whether she’s been “pronounced” dead that appears to be the sticking point.

Fox Story

“I respect JPS’ arguments in trying to follow the law,” the judge said, “but every section doesn’t apply to someone who is dead.”

Attorneys for John Peter Smith Hospital and Erick Muñoz presented their cases about the right of the fetus to live and the right of the mother to die.

Fox Story 2

Read on FOX

Operation Rescue issues the following statement in response to Judge R.H. Wallace, Jr.’s ruling this afternoon ordering John Peter Smith Hospital to terminate life support to Marlise Munoz and thereby kill her pre-born baby. This statement is attributable to Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue.

We are appalled by Judge Wallace’s order to terminate life support for Marlise Munoz and her baby. The order is the equivalent of signing a death sentence for Baby Munoz. We utterly reject the false notion that Marlise’s body is a rotting corpse, which is impossible since a decaying body cannot support the life of a baby for weeks, as Marlise has.

Killing people because they are disabled is wrong, and dangerously devalues all life. We condemn in the strongest terms this order to fatally discriminate against this disabled mother and her baby, especially in light of the fact that there are people standing by to adopt the baby knowing that the child will have special needs.

Texas Alliance for Life Tweeted: We’re saddened by the judge’s order to remove the life support from #MarliseMunoz. Decision fails to recognize interests of the unborn child


Attorneys for the family of a pregnant Haltom City woman who has been on life support at John Peter Smith Hospital for eight weeks issued a statement late Wednesday that the fetus is “distinctly abnormal.”

munoz family

“[T]he fetus is distinctly abnormal,” said Muñoz family attorneys Heather King and Jessica Janicek in the statement. “Even at this early stage, the lower extremities are deformed to the extent that the gender cannot be determined.”

Munoz Statement

The attorneys say the fetus has hydrocephalus (water on the brain), and a possible heart problem, though details can’t be determined “due to the immobile nature of Mrs. Muñoz’s deceased body.”

The fetus, which was deprived of oxygen for “an indeterminate length of time, is gestating within a dead and deteriorating body as the horrified family looks on,” the attorneys said.

Marlise Muñoz, 33, was 14 weeks pregnant when she collapsed Nov. 26. She was taken to JPS, where doctors told her husband that she was brain-dead. He and other relatives asked that life support be removed.

The attorneys ended the statement reiterating the complaints filed in the suit are not directly related to the condition of the fetus, but rather to the vital status of the mother, saying the statute requiring life-sustaining measures for a pregnant patient “does not apply to the dead.”

“Were that to be true, then it would be incumbent upon all health care providers to immediately conduct pregnancy tests on any woman of childbearing age who becomes deceased, and upon determining the deceased body was pregnant, hooking the body up to machines in an attempt to continue gestation,” the statement reads. “Surely, such a result was never intended nor should it be inferred.”

Fort Worth attorney Trent Loftin, who isn’t connected to the case, said he believes Friday’s hearing in front of District Judge R.H. Wallace likely won’t be the end of the case.

“I think whatever the judge decides, the other side will appeal to the second court of appeals and eventually to the supreme court of the state of Texas,” Loftin said.

Pro-life citizens of Texas recently rallied in support of the Texas law saying the law protected life. (click here for more quotes, vids and pics of that rally

Renee Pic1014404_720833104616335_1418685574_nIMG_0658

Pastor Stephen E. Broden of Fair Park Bible Fellowship and Founder of National Black Pro-Life Coalition told supporters, “There is a baby, the baby is alive…There is an alternative for the family. There are families willing to take the baby and provide a safe place for it to grow in a loving environment. If we err, we should err on the side of life,” he said.

WFAA protest

“We feel great compassion for the family of Marlise Munoz and her pre-born baby. No one ever wants to be in their difficult and tragic situation,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue who suggested the vigil to local activists. “Marlise wanted this baby, and as long as there is a chance that he or she can be saved, we support John Peter Smith Hospital in their bid to follow the law and protect this baby’s life.”

January 22, 2014 Anderson Cooper’s panel discussed the Marlise Munoz case – the family wants her removed from life support which would kill the unborn child who at this point is almost 24 weeks along.

Anderson Cooper falsely states that Marlise Munoz had a written statement of her wishes and after the show he gave a statement of correction not showing on this video.

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