Archive for Brain Dead

Attorney Reflection on the Munoz Tragedy

Posted in Brain Death, Life Support with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 13, 2014 by saynsumthn

A Reflection on the Munoz Tragedy
H/T Life Legal Defense Foundation

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Many in the pro-life community are reflecting on two tragic stories with very different outcomes: the Munoz situation in Texas and the Benson situation in Canada. In both, the wife and mother was declared brain dead. In the Benson story, Iver Benson, son of Dylan Benson and his now deceased wife, Robyn, has been allowed to live.

Texas Attorney Jeff Turner reflection on the tragedy of the Baby Munoz situation is compelling , he originally published it for Texans for Life – here. This blog has added images to his comments:

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Jeff-Turner300x268On Friday, January 24, the 96th District Courtroom in Tarrant County, Texas was the stage for a tragic tale, not told by idiots, but still one “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” And by nothing, I mean a profound absence. The tale is one that will be retold more often as medical technology advances to keep people alive, in this case, Marlise Munoz, who in November 2013 suffered a pulmonary embolism when she was fourteen weeks into her pregnancy.

Teddy Bear JPS Signs

Her husband and her parents asked John Peter Smith Hospital to discontinue all life-sustaining treatment for her, which action indirectly would cause the death of her (and his) child in utero. They contend that the very doctors treating her reported that she was brain dead and recommended the withdrawal of such treatment. The hospital did not oblige their request, relying solely on a provision of the Texas Health & Safety Code that provides that a “person may not withdraw or withhold life-sustaining treatment under this subchapter from a pregnant woman.” (emphasis added).

Sue and son signs

Absent from the courtroom, however, was any mention of God as the Author of all human life, including that of Baby Munoz. The mystery of God’s purpose in permitting this tale to unfold will remain that—an impenetrable mystery. What can be known is that He willed Baby Munoz’ life into existence and that fact deserves some weight. It is congruent with America’s Judeo-Christian heritage that God be included in her judicial determinations. The United States Supreme Court still opens each session with “God save the United States and this honorable court.” Edith Jones, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, placed a replicated Harlan Bible (named after Justice John Marshall Harlan’s personal Bible which he donated to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1906) prominently in her chambers “as a reminder to all who visit that we … remember our judgments are ultimately subject to a Divine standard.” The “Divine standard” is love: love of God and of neighbor, and love sometimes requires sacrifice of one’s own rights, interests, and desires for the benefit of another, like Baby Munoz. Love sometimes requires one to “wait for the Lord with courage.” Psalms 27:14. There was no mention of this “Divine standard” in the 96th District Court in determining the fate of Baby Munoz.

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Also absent was any advocate for Mrs. Munoz or for Baby Munoz. Larry Thompson, the Assistant District Attorney who represented JPS Hospital, informed this writer that the appointment of an attorney ad litem or guardian ad litem had been considered; however, no such appointment was sought. This decision was a glaring error. An attorney appointed to zealously represent each party would have forced Mr. Munoz’ attorneys to prove his case. For example, does Mrs. Munoz’s medical condition satisfy the legal definition for “death?” The same Health & Safety Code states that a person is dead “when, according to ordinary standards of medical practice, there is irreversible cessation of the person’s spontaneous respiratory and circulatory functions.” It further states that “if artificial means of support preclude a determination that a person’s spontaneous respiratory and circulatory functions have ceased, the person is dead when, in the announced opinion of a physician, according to ordinary standards of medical practice, there is irreversible cessation of all spontaneous brain function. Death occurs when the relevant functions cease.” Death must be pronounced before a doctor can discontinue artificial or mechanical means of supporting a person’s respiratory and circulatory systems. Because artificial means of support had been initiated when Mrs. Munoz first arrived at JPS Hospital, the fact whether “all” of her spontaneous brain function had stopped became a critical issue.

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“Brain death” was introduced in 1968 by an ad hoc committee of the Harvard Medical School in the Journal of the American Medical Association. It was introduced mainly to facilitate “organ harvesting” and to reallocate resources away from patients whose prognosis was unfavorable. Unfortunately, after three decades of clinical implementation, this standard has proven to be “conceptually flawed,” according to medical ethicist Dan Wikler of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, a member of a 1981 presidential commission that recommended a uniform law defining death. There is no reliable way to determine “irreversible cessation of all spontaneous brain function” unless and until the entire brain has been destroyed; but, in order for this destruction to occur, the respiratory and circulatory functions must stop. Cases have occurred in which the patient met the test for “brain death” because an EEG could not detect electrical activity on his brain’s surface, but the patient clearly had functioning of the mid-brain and brain stem, and maybe even of the cortex. The brain may not be the exclusive central organizing organ of the human person. Doctors have reported over thirty cases of protracted survival of “brain dead” patients, ranging from one week to fourteen years.

No expert witness was called to testify on behalf of Mrs. Munoz. Instead, the assistant district attorney, representing the state and not Mrs. Munoz or Baby Munoz, simply stipulated that the mother was “brain dead.” That stipulation practically decided the case.

Carole Novielli

An advocate for Baby Munoz not only would have challenged the allegation of “brain death” but also would have raised the equally crucial question of whether his client was viable. Viability refers to the gestational age at which a child in utero has a 50% chance to survive outside the womb. Most doctors believe viability is reached around 24 weeks of gestation. However, there is no hard and fast rule. Amillia Taylor, for example, was born in 2006 at 21 weeks, 6 days of gestation (but under 20 weeks from fertilization). At nine inches and 10 ounces, she faced digestive and respiratory issues and a brain hemorrhage. Today, “she runs, she plays, she does things she’s not supposed to do.” But, again, the assistant district attorney essentially threw the case by stipulating that Baby Munoz was not viable.

Another gaping absence was any discussion of medical ethics. As soon as a woman becomes pregnant, there are two patients. The first rule of medical ethics is: Do no harm. Removing the ventilator (which supports but does not substitute for the respiratory system) from Mrs. Munoz obviously caused harm to Baby Munoz. He brain deathdied. The second rule is: Take all reasonable action to give the patient a fair chance to live. All that Baby Munoz needed was 3 to 4 more weeks. This would not have been the first time a brain-dead pregnant woman delivered a baby. In 2012, in Michigan, Christine Bolden delivered twins before her respirator was removed. Dr. Cosmas Vandeven, a specialist in high-risk pregnancies at University of Michigan hospital, said that an important ethical issue in such cases is whether a brain-dead woman would suffer by being kept on a respirator and undergoing a C-section. “Almost every parent would give their life for their child,” Dr. Vandeven opined. “But you need to get truly independent opinions: Are we sure we’re not causing harm to the mom?” Ms. Bolden’s brother said, “I know she wants the babies to be with us. This has brought our family together.”

In contrast, the Texas courtroom stage was filled with provocative commentary on Mrs. Munoz’ allegedly decaying corpse and the “smell of death.” Mr. Munoz’ attorneys pursued a backhanded ad hominem attack against JPS Hospital employees by accusing them of engaging in a scientific experiment with Mrs. Munoz’ body, thus questioning their motives. The defense failed to offer any alternative argument to its insistence that the Texas Health & Safety Code applies to a pregnant woman, whom it already had stipulated was dead, when the relevant subchapter at issue concerns only “qualified patient[s]” who have been diagnosed with a terminal or irreversible condition, Implicitly, it does not apply to a dead patient.

This writer does not question the motive of either the hospital employees or Mr. Munoz. This writer does question whether Mrs. Munoz or Baby Munoz received a fair hearing and whether all available legal and ethical arguments were presented.

In Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth found no meaning or purpose in life after his wife’s death. Let us pray that Mr. Munoz will find meaning and purpose after the death of his wife and child. Let us pray further that our culture, including our judiciary, will strive to meet the Divine standard by which we all will be judged.

The author, Jeff Turner, is a lawyer, poet, and human rights activist. This article appeared in Texas for Life Coalition’s Blog at http://texlife.org/2014/01/rest-in-peace-mrs-and-baby-munoz/.

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This blog has written extensively on the Munoz tragedy.

The designation of “brain death” is a controversial one and presents moral and ethical issues, especially when the life of a baby is involved. There are many cases where babies have survived after the mothers have experienced similar situations to that of Marlise Munoz.

Here are some examples:

In 1982 a brain dead woman was put on life support for several days until her unborn child could be delivered.

Michele Odette Poole was delivered in 1985 after her mother was declared brain dead. Her father won a legal battle against the woman’s parents who had requested that life support be disconnected

In March of 1986, doctors successfully delivered a baby at the University of California’s Moffitt Hospital, whose mother was declared legally dead in January and was kept on life support to protect the child.

In November of 1991, Tracy Bucher gave birth to a baby boy after she was pronounced as brain dead. She was kept on life support for six weeks while her unborn child developed inside her.

In November of 1997, Lisa Nottingham was four months when she suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and was declared brain dead in August. She was kept alive by a machine until her baby could safely be delivered the following November.

Susan Anne Catherine Tores was born in September of 2005 after her mother was kept on life support for three months after being pronounced legally dead. Despite heroic efforts the child succumbed to a respiratory illness and died a few days later.

In June of 2006, a brain dead woman kept alive for more than two months gave birth to a baby girl. She was named Christine and her last name was withheld by the media.

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Baby Iver Fund Exceeds Donation Goal to cover Medical Bills for Pregnant Mom on Life Support

Posted in Life Support with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 4, 2014 by saynsumthn

Dylan Wedding4c2153f604 A community is rallying to help a 32-year-old Victoria man facing an almost unimaginable set of circumstances as he awaits his first child’s entry into the world.

Hundreds of people have contributed to a fund in support of Dylan Benson, whose pregnant wife Robyn suffered a medical emergency after Christmas and was declared brain-dead.

She remains in a B.C. hospital on life-support until doctors feel the unborn child is viable enough for them to perform a caesarean section.

Benson says his unborn son was just over five months along and growing normally when Robyn complained of a headache and collapsed on Dec. 28.

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In line with his wishes, hospital staff are now trying to keep her alive seven more weeks, until the fetus is 34 weeks old and has a better chance of survival outside the womb.

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“I got to feel him kick for the first time the other day,” said Benson.

However, the birth of a boy he intends to name Iver Cohen Benson will mean that his wife will be taken off life support. So far, Iver is healthy and continues to grow.

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This story is similar to the one that received national attention recently in Texas when John Peter Smith Hospital in Ft Worth, relented to the death order of Judge RH Wallace Jr and pulled the plug on pregnant Marlise Munoz killing her unborn child.

The actions of JPS Mirrored those of convicted abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell who were just “Following Orders” when they murdered children.

Just as in this case, the community rallied around the hope that out of a tragedy a new life would be born. In the Munoz case, about 50 people outside John Peter Smith Hospital in Ft Worth for a memorial service to remember Marlise Munoz and her unborn child who was killed when the hospital agreed to remove her from life support.

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The group, was organized by Operation Rescue and local activists.

The event peaceful and somber with several people holding flowers and singing Amazing Grace.

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“We’re very saddened that the baby is gone,” said Carol Novielli, who brought a rose and stuffed animal to remember the child.

Behind the scenes, local conservatives like State Representative Matt Krause said they spent the weekend trying to get the hospital and district attorney’s office to appeal the ruling.

“We at least were trying to get the hopsital board to have an emergency meeting to appeal Judge Wallace’s ruling,” he told WFAA.

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As of Feb 4, 2014, the Baby Iver Fund has raised $81,478 out of a $36,000 goal.

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On his website Dylan explains what happened, “On December 28th, I lost my wife to a sudden hemmorhage of blood to her brain. At the time, she was 22 weeks pregnant.

On that Saturday morning, she threw up, and then instantly started suffering from a piercing headache and asked me to go to the store to get some Tylenol for her. When I came back, she was unconscious, but still breathing in our bathroom. I called 911 immediately. The ambulance came, and they tried to get my wife to respond and for almost an hour before we went to the hospital. At the hospital they discovered that my wife had experienced a massive blood leak into the centre of her brain, and that there was so much blood and pressure and damage that it was irrepairable.

Devastatingly, my wife, Robyn, became brain dead. They performed an operation on my wife’s brain to drain some of the excess blood. Based on my decision, they are attempting to keep her body alive for up to 7 more weeks (potentially until she is at or near 34 weeks pregnant). Incredibly, they have been successful in doing this for 5 weeks now. The thought process behind this is that if they can keep her body alive and growing our child, it will give our unborn son (his name will be Iver Cohen Benson) a good chance of surviving a c-section at that time. The doctors have said that he now has higher than an 80% of survival and that increases with every day that passes. There are roughly 30 published medical records of this type of thing being attempted, but so far, amazingly, they have been successful. For the last 5 weeks, Robyn’s body has still been doing most of the work. Her heart rate and blood pressure are for the most part working unassisted. It is essentially only her brain that is not working, and unfortunately, she will not recover from the brain death.

Our family and close friends are all very supportive and all think that my wife would want me to try and give our child the best life possible, so that’s what I’m going to try and do. Assuming that the c-section is successful, of course my son will then spend the next several weeks in the hospital under intensive care until he is ready to be released to me.

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My days right now consist of a lot of time with family and close friends, and of course time at the hospital visiting Iver and Robyn, and hoping every minute for their health to continue.

She was my rock. She did so much for us, and I can’t believe I won’t get to talk to her again. It is very difficult to know that our son will grow up never meeting his wonderful mother, and that we will have to say our goodbyes to Robyn within hours of seeing Iver for the first time.

Why we are raising funds and where they will go:

Due to the stress of this situation, and not knowing when they will attempt to deliver Iver (if Robyn’s body becomes unstable, they may need to deliver him within minutes or days), I am unable to work. The majority of my current and upcoming leave from work will leave me only earning 55% of my salary. I am about to become a single father. Paternity leave for men will only provide me with 35 weeks off from work, and it’s likely that I will be spending the first 6-8 of those in the hospital with Iver before I can take him home. I will need funds towards bills, baby supplies, daycare, housing, food, and transportation.

I sincerely appreciate everyone who took the time to read this and anyone who is able to help, regardless of the amount.

Thanks and take care,

Dylan and Iver “

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Successful Births from Women who are deemed “Brain Dead” during pregnancy and kept alive on Life Support are rare and successful births are not uncommon in these cases.

Here are some more examples:

In 1982 a brain dead woman was put on life support for several days until her unborn child could be delivered.

Michele Odette Poole was delivered in 1985 after her mother was declared brain dead. Her father won a legal battle against the woman’s parents who had requested that life support be disconnected

In March of 1986, doctors successfully delivered a baby at the University of California’s Moffitt Hospital, whose mother was declared legally dead in January and was kept on life support to protect the child.

In November of 1991, Tracy Bucher gave birth to a baby boy after she was pronounced as brain dead. She was kept on life support for six weeks while her unborn child developed inside her.

In November of 1997, Lisa Nottingham was four months when she suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and was declared brain dead in August. She was kept alive by a machine until her baby could safely be delivered the following November.

Susan Anne Catherine Tores was born in September of 2005 after her mother was kept on life support for three months after being pronounced legally dead. Despite heroic efforts the child succumbed to a respiratory illness and died a few days later.

In June of 2006, a brain dead woman kept alive for more than two months gave birth to a baby girl. She was named Christine and her last name was withheld by the media.

#MarliseMunoz unborn baby Nicole to be cremated with mother

Posted in Life Support, pro-choice violence, Stephen Broden with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 28, 2014 by saynsumthn

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Four big-name Republicans running for lieutenant governor said Monday night that a Texas judge erred when he ordered a brain-dead, pregnant woman off life support and vowed if elected to tighten state law so that a similar outcome couldn’t happen again.

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“It is an extremely difficult set of circumstances. But we need to make certain that as a society, we are protecting life,” Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples said.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and state Sen. Dan Patrick echoed similar sentiments after a Fort Worth hospital complied this weekend with an order to pull life-sustaining treatment for Marlise Munoz and her 23-week-old fetus.

“We need to clarify the law on this and permit this baby to be born,” Dewhurst said.

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Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott, through a spokesman, said the case was a “heartbreaking tragedy” and that “Texas strives to protect both families and human life, and we will continue to work toward that end.”

Texas Sen. Wendy Davis, a Democrat from Fort Worth,who supports late term abortions for any reason, said through a spokeswoman that any decision like this “should be made by Mrs. Munoz’s family, in consultation with her doctors.”

Erick Munoz, the husband of pregnant Marlise Munoz who was taken off life support over the weekend says he decided to name the 23 week old unborn baby she was carrying Nicole, which was Marlise Munoz’s middle name. He says doctors told him the fetus likely would have been a girl.

The unborn child was not delivered when John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth complied Sunday with a judge’s order to pull any life-sustaining treatment from Munoz. She was declared brain-dead in November, but the hospital had kept her on machines for the sake of the fetus.

The case had inspired debates about abortion and end-of-life decisions, as well as whether a pregnant woman who is considered legally and medically dead should be kept on life support for the sake of a fetus, per Texas law. Anti-abortion activists attended Friday’s court hearing and spoke out in favor of trying to deliver the fetus. They also gathered outside JPS Hospital for a memorial service for little Nicole on Sunday.

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About 50 people gathered Sunday afternoon outside John Peter Smith Hospital in Ft Worth.

“We’re very saddened that the baby is gone,” said pro-life activist Carol Novielli, who brought a rose and stuffed animal to remember the child.

Erick told WFAA that he’s seen a lot of negative comments about his decision, and realizes that everyone is entitled to an opinion. But he says something that was always talked about with his wife was quality of life.

Erick felt the child would not have a good quality of life if it had gone without oxygen for so many hours.

“I’m just glad they are not in my shoes. I hope every day that no one ever has to go through what I went through,” he said.

The family tells News 8 that Marlise Muñoz will be cremated. There are no plans for memorial or funeral services, because the family is concerned that protesters would show up.

Operation Rescue objected to way the term “brain death” was being applied to Mrs. Munoz and with the characterization of her as a “dead corpse.”

“We are not medical professionals, but we do understand that a dead corpse cannot sustain a growing pregnancy for two months, as Mrs. Munoz did,” said Newman. “This dehumanizing terminology was intentionally used for the purpose of making the murder of her and her baby more palatable. The law was clear that life support should have been continued in order to give the child a chance, but the intent of that law was completely ignored.”

A few Texas lawmakers have vowed to change the law:

“The pain that Mr. Muñoz went through I think is… I don’t see how he’s done it,” said State Rep. Garnet Coleman (D-Houston).

“I think that’s one of the things this situation has brought out — the ambiguity in the law,” agreed State Rep. Matt Krause (R-Fort Worth).

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle want to see the code clarified in the next legislative session. But that’s where the agreements might end.

“It’s a very simple fix,” Coleman said. He will propose adding a line into the provision that nullifies it if the woman is already dead.

“You can’t remove life-saving treatment from a pregnant woman unless they are declared dead,” he said.

But Krause has a different viewpoint. He wants to see the law changed to add more protections for an unborn fetus.

“There was a little child inside Ms. Muñoz,” he said.

Krause would prefer that the fetus be appointed a guardian to protect its interests if the mother is declared dead.

“I think you always err on the side of life,” he said.

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Pastor Stephen Broden of Fair Park Bible Fellowship and Founder of National Black Pro-Life Coalition, who addressed the pro-life supporters during Sunday’s vigil, reminded all of the Bible verses that state, “The life is in the blood,” meaning that as long as there is circulation, there is life. That concept was confirmed by the fact that the pre-born baby was nourished and growing.

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In a statement released by Operation Rescue, they state that in addition to dehumanizing the mother, the baby was portrayed by attorneys as little more than a monster, leading one Twitter poster to ask, “The baby was deformed. How is that murder?”

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“This baby was a precious gift and his or her life had value even if there were developmental issues. We don’t kill people because they are handicapped,” said Newman. “This was a naked attempt to redefine life and death in subjective terms that would make it acceptable to end the lives of people that have become inconvenient. This is a very dangerous road to travel on and could lead to lost protections for all our lives. We are thankful that we had the opportunity to speak the truth in opposition to this horrific attempt to strip two precious human beings of their humanity and dignity along with their lives.”

WFAA Channel 8 Reporter Jobin Panicker tweeted that Erick Munoz, “tells me that #MarliseMunoz will be cremated.”

A post on the facebook page SAVE BABY MUNOZ reads:

The death of Baby Munoz represents a colossal failure on so many levels. Her father failed her. The Attorney General of Texas Greg Abbot failed her. The hospital failed her. Finally, by usurping the will of the people of Texas, the courts failed her. If only one of those in position to stop this execution of Baby Munoz would have stepped up to the plate and done the right thing she would have been born alive in the next few weeks. Baby Munoz was a human being who deserved the same legal protections of born people. The truth is Baby Munoz was executed by judicial tyranny.”

Pastor Stephen Broden is reporting that since he led the prayer vigil in support of life for baby Munoz, he is, has :received a vicious and vile phone call blasting me for conducting prayer vigils for the Munoz baby. The language was mean and abhorrent. We are living in a strange and usual time.”

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

Posted in Life Support with tags , , , , , , on January 24, 2014 by saynsumthn

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.

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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

PREVIOUSLY THIS WEEK:

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.”

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“[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

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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.

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“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.