Brain-dead Pregnant Woman Forced to Remain on Life Support

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The diagnosis was crushing and irrevocable. At 33, Marlise Munoz was brain-dead after collapsing on her kitchen floor in November from what appeared to be a blood clot in her lungs.

But as her parents and her husband prepared to say their final goodbyes in the intensive care unit at John Peter Smith Hospital here and to honor her wish not to be left on life support, they were stunned when a doctor told them the hospital was not going to comply with their instructions. Mrs. Munoz was 14 weeks pregnant, the doctor said, and Texas is one of more than two dozen states that prohibit, with varying degrees of strictness, medical officials from cutting off life support to a pregnant patient.

More than a month later, Mrs. Munoz remains connected to life-support machines on the third floor of the I.C.U., where a medical team monitors the heartbeat of the fetus, now in its 20th week of development. Her case has become a strange collision of law, medicine, the ethics of end-of-life care and the issues swirling around abortion — when life begins and how it should be valued.

“It’s not a matter of pro-choice and pro-life,” said Mrs. Munoz’s mother, Lynne Machado, 60. “It’s about a matter of our daughter’s wishes not being honored by the state of Texas.”

Mrs. Munoz’s father, Ernest Machado, 60, a former police officer and an Air Force veteran, put it even more bluntly. “All she is is a host for a fetus,” he said on Tuesday. “I get angry with the state. What business did they have delving into these areas? Why are they practicing medicine up in Austin?”

Written By: Manny Fernandez and Erik Eckholm
continue to source article at nytimes.com

44 COMMENTS

  1. When I first read this story in Dec., I could not ascertain if they’d put their wishes on paper (living will). Turns out it is moot, her being pregnant. Was unaware some states have these kind of laws. A bit of digging – Texas Advance Directives Act, Sec. 166.049, signed by George W Bush, 1999.

    An op-ed writer’s opinion on this case – “let nature take its course”. Aye.

  2. If the pregnancy had gone into it’s eighth month, I can see the rationale for sustaining the mother long enough to allow birth. But the opposite end of the spectrum would be keeping a dead woman alive just because it was discovered that fertilization had taken place a week earlier. As with abortion, the woman’s wishes, the medical issues and lastly, the wishes of the husband should certainly take precedence over a ruling by the state. This case is horrifying.

  3. Utterly bizarre, the sort of thing one might expect in a Catholic basket-case state like Nicaragua, where abortion is banned even to save the life of the mother, resulting n scores of women – and the foetuses – dying avoidably.

    Out of interest, what would happen if the family in this case demanded the right to move the patient to another state, where the doctors were willing to throw the switch? I imagine technologically a transfer by a suitably equipped ambulance or air ambulance would be quite feasible.

    • In reply to #6 by Stevehill:

      Out of interest, what would happen if the family in this case demanded the right to move the patient to another state, where the doctors were willing to throw the switch? I imagine technologically a transfer by a suitably equipped ambulance or air ambulance would be quite feasible.

      I’m not a health professional but off the bat, the transfer to another hospital seems quite feasible indeed with today’s technology. But this is the USA and it’s likely that a transfer to a hospital in another state wouldn’t be covered by their health insurance: the husband may not be able to afford it.

  4. Just a thought; Who’s paying the medical bill? If she’s dead then she can’t have medical insurance; If the baby is unborn then neither can it.

    Is the bill going to be dropped onto the grieving family?

  5. Does anyone know what kind of chance the child would have to be a healthy baby if it was born? I would think that if the woman is brain dead that must have a severe impact on the fetus as well and that if it was born chances are it would have serious health problems and a short miserable life.

    • In reply to #8 by Red Dog:

      Does anyone know what kind of chance the child would have to be a healthy baby if it was born? I would think that if the woman is brain dead that must have a severe impact on the fetus as well and that if it was born chances are it would have serious health problems and a short miserable life.

      The article states that she was not breathing when she was found and may have been oxygen-deprived for more than an hour. Neurons need a steady supply of oxygen and glucose. They begin to die after only four minutes without oxygen. The rapidly dividing cells of a fetus, especially neurons, require an even greater supply. If the mother’s brain cells are not functioning due to lack of bloody supply that provides oxygen and glucose, then the brain of the fetus is likely to be in the same state. The chances of a normal infant being born to this couple seem slim at best. Just because its heart is beating doesn’t mean it’s any more “alive” than its mother.

    • In reply to #8 by Red Dog:

      Does anyone know what kind of chance the child would have to be a healthy baby if it was born?

      I’ve been looking at this for a couple of days now – there is, unsurprisingly, not a lot of literature on fetuses surviving from the early second trimester to the third. The best I can find is a 1989 report by Bernstein et al about a 15-weeker whose mother got caught a road traffic accident who was delivered at 32 weeks. I can’t find out the details of how long she was in cardiac arrest though but she wasn’t declared brain-dead until over a week later.

      All I can suggest is that whilst fetuses are inherently a little resistant to oxygen deprivation relative to you or me, having a mother who has no breath or heart rate for more than 10 minutes is not great i.e. is associated with permanent neurological injury. This lady may have been down for longer and the resus team should know the implications of this… I agree with Alan4 – somebody bottled out of the hard decision.

    • In reply to #9 by old-toy-boy:

      I would have thought that the rights of an unborn child take priority over those of a dead mother. (speaking from a humaitarian point of view).

      It’s a fetus, not a child. What does a humanitarian view have to do with a handful of dividing cell without a functioning brain?

    • In reply to #9 by old-toy-boy:

      I would have thought that the rights of an unborn child take priority over those of a dead mother. (speaking from a humaitarian point of view).

      The point of this story is that the woman’s wishes, and those of her legal next-of-kin, regarding her end-of-life care are being ignored. If she did, in fact, have those wishes documented, then the state is effectively saying that these legal documents are null and void simply because she has an as-yet unviable growth in her uterus. In all other cases, these documents are considered legally binding. This article makes it clear that in Texas and 31 other states, women are STILL not considered to have the most fundamental of human rights – the right to body autonomy.

  6. She’s brain dead, trust me, she doesn’t care. 14 weeks is; however, within the termination date. I would argue that it’s the father’s call. It seems the rest of her stiff functions and she does have an up and coming human life in her. Did her wishes include – “even if I’m pregnant”? In a couple more weeks, it will no longer be just her life to take. That’s all the time they need to buy.

  7. I would offer fuel for discussion here. A disclaimer would include my own concerns (lack of medical knowledge admitted) regarding the health and viability risks to the foetus. My sister’s unborn baby was killed in a car crash weeks before her due date several months ago.
    My sister, my brother and I, all hospitalised after, vocalised that we would have traded places with the baby.

    It seems presumptive of many to deny this mindset as possible for the woman in the article. Ethical nightmare as this case might be, To what degree has the father been informed of the likelihood of healthy birth? Too many questions. The early stage of the pregnancy, which we often see as an obvious stage for reasonable action in pro-choice scenarios might be different in this circumstance.

    If there’s a part of you ready to type some “Atheism is a club with a party line” mindless rebuttal, you’d be joining many of the posters thus far perhaps. I’d draw attention to the fact the article’s heading is illogical. A brain dead person being forced to do something? Try not to snap into the too-easy “woman forced to have a baby!?” rebukes like a bull at a red rag. Legal impediment versus religious injustice also saw poor quiz results for many posters. All I seek to illuminate is the possibility that the woman’s sudden collapse might be compared to our car crash. I can offer testimony that my sister would instantly agree to half a year’s coma and death, should her baby have been able to survive.

    Easy on the group-speak guys. Keep up the Reason.

    • In reply to #13 by Timothy McNamara:

      I would offer fuel for discussion here. A disclaimer would include my own concerns (lack of medical knowledge admitted) regarding the health and viability risks to the foetus. My sister’s unborn baby was killed in a car crash weeks before her due date several months ago. My sister, my brother and I, all hospitalised after, vocalised that we would have traded places with the baby.

      I’m sorry for your loss. Am I to understand you were all in the car and were hospitalized? That seems like an emotional response at the time. On further reflection would you still make that choice? If so, does it make practical sense?

      • In reply to #14 by Skeptic:

        Thank you, and yes, we were all in the car that was struck head-on by the reckless driver. And yes, an emotional response was undoubtedly involved in saying what we did. None of us feel very much differently since. I have tried to be a voice of reason and positive outlook for my siblings ever since, albeit somewhat hampered by the amnesia I sustained. As for your question, I’d personally still make that choice were it feasible, and I’m certain my sister would. “Practical sense” might well evade even the most reasonable of us, given the circumstances.

        • In reply to #17 by Timothy McNamara:

          As for your question, I’d personally still make that choice were it feasible, and I’m certain my sister would.

          This is intriguing to me because it counters the common evo psy explanation of such things as you would have shared only 25% of your genes to you sisters child where as you would sacrifice 100% of yours. I doubt most people would actually make such a call. I don’t think I would although I’ve never been in your situation. Good luck with your recovery physically and emotionally.

    • In reply to #13 by Timothy McNamara:

      I would offer fuel for discussion here. A disclaimer would include my own concerns (lack of medical knowledge admitted) regarding the health and viability risks to the foetus. My sister’s unborn baby was killed in a car crash weeks before her due date several months ago.

      My views here are strongly influenced by the reported views of Mrs Munoz – that she would not have wanted life support – and the fact that her husband, the baby’s father, also wants to turn off life support. He (and possibly only he) has a right to be heard on whether the baby should be delivered. Presumably, if it is, the baby is going to be handed to him to raise as a single parent.

      I have twice in my life had to decide on behalf of comatose people to reject the option of life support which would have extended their lives but, in both cases, would have offered no quality of life whatsoever. The first case was my father, who suffered a massive stroke at the same age as Ariel Sharon did. The second was my wife of 27 years, who died of complications and pneumonia suffered while undergoing hardcore cancer treatment. In both cases I knew very well what they would have wanted. In both cases I respected their wishes.

    • In reply to #13 by Timothy McNamara:

      I would offer fuel for discussion here. A disclaimer would include my own concerns (lack of medical knowledge admitted) regarding the health and viability risks to the foetus. My sister’s unborn baby was killed in a car crash weeks before her due date several months ago.
      My sister, my brother and I,…

      I feel for your trauma and your sister’s loss. Having lost a son, I understand the feeling of a parent who wishes it could have been them instead of their child. My son was murdered by drowning. His brain was starved of oxygen much like the woman in this article. Even if he had been immediately intubated, ventilated, and put on a heart-lung machine, he would not have recovered. He was brain-dead, every thing that made him a unique person irrevocably erased in those minutes without air at the hands of another person. Yet his body was still his, still genetically a part of mine, and I cared about how his body was treated. I wanted it treated with respect, and I wanted his wishes – such as I understood them – to be carried out to the best of everyone’s ability. As a veteran, he had once stated to me that if he died he wanted to go with dignity and to be interred with full military honors. Our last gesture of love to our child, although he can never know it, is to respect his body, and the wishes he had for it.

      This woman is dead. She is not in a coma. She is not in a vegetative state. She is dead. If oxygen was not being pushed into her lungs and her heart not being made to beat by machines, her body would decompose. Her wishes regarding her body and everything in it, and those of her legal next-of-kin – her husband – are not being respected. Her body is being treated with disrespect, as though she had no more significance than the machines around her. She is being treated as an incubator for a fetus who has almost no chance of being born with a normally functioning brain, since it also was deprived of oxygen while its mother was lying on that kitchen floor. The state of Texas and the hospital have essentially said to this family that their wishes, legally documented or not, have no validity. That this woman had no real right in life to decide what would be done with her body in death. In effect, they are saying that she is no more than state property, undeserving of the most fundamental of human rights – the right to autonomy.

      She is not an incubator. She is human. Her rights, as expressed by her family, must take precedence over what may or may not happen in her uterus. What she would have had a right to choose in life, whether abortion or not, is hers to choose in death, through her family.

      These are difficult decisions made under the most tragic circumstances. Yet they are still the family’s personal decisions, made for reasons of their own; which are as deserving of respect and compassion as any other family’s choices in these circumstances.

      • In reply to #24 by Sue Blue:

        This woman is dead. She is not in a coma. She is not in a vegetative state. She is dead. If oxygen was not being pushed into her lungs and her heart not being made to beat by machines, her body would decompose. Her wishes regarding her body and everything in it, and those of her legal next-of-kin – her husband – are not being respected. Her body is being treated with disrespect, as though she had no more significance than the machines around her. She is being treated as an incubator for a fetus who has almost no chance of being born with a normally functioning brain, since it also was deprived of oxygen while its mother was lying on that kitchen floor.

        If this woman is to all intents and purposes dead, where is the harm in keeping her body functioning to maintain the life of the infant she’s carrying? If she were actually dead and an organ donor, her body would be carved up and every useful part harvested, the rest put into an incinerator; not exactly a dignified way to treat her remains. Her body is being treated as an incubator and with no more significance than the machines around her… well, so what since she’s dead? So what if her wishes are not being respected? She’s way past caring.

        You say there is almost no chance of the child being born with a functioning brain. Almost no chance = a small chance. And would it make a difference if the possible brain damage suffered by the child were not a factor, ie there was every indication it was doing well and would be born healthy?

        She is not an incubator. She is human. Her rights, as expressed by her family, must take precedence over what may or may not happen in her uterus…

        I’m sorry but you seem to be contradicting yourself. A moment ago she was dead, now she’s human again with rights that need to be respected?

        …What she would have had a right to choose in life, whether abortion or not, is hers to choose in death, through her family.

        No. Legally perhaps, because she’s still technically alive. But morally, I just can’t agree that corpses still have choices.

        • In reply to #27 by Katy Cordeth:

          So what if her wishes are not being respected? She’s way past caring.

          So let’s scrap organ donor registers shall we, and just accept that medics can do what they like with our bodies?

          And, to re-state the bleeding obvious, the so what amounts to “so somebody is going to have to care for this baby once delivered, probably severely disabled”.

          • In reply to #30 by Stevehill:

            In reply to #27 by Katy Cordeth:

            So what if her wishes are not being respected? She’s way past caring.

            So let’s scrap organ donor registers shall we, and just accept that medics can do what they like with our bodies?

            And, to re-state the bleeding obvious, the so what amounts to “so somebody is g…

            I think it’s a joke that they would need her consent to donate her organs for a conscious, frightened human being, but not her entire Goddamned body for a being that is not yet conscious and, given the circumstances, may never be.

            This is where I step in and say that I wish that organ harvesting were a routine procedure after deaths in which the organs are still viable, that people didn’t have to register as organ donors. Why do we even need an organ donor registry? It’s emotionalism, pure unadulterated emotionalism. What the hell do people think they’ll need their organs for when they’re dead?

        • In reply to #27 by Katy Cordeth:

          In reply to #24 by Sue Blue:

          This woman is dead. She is not in a coma. She is not in a vegetative state. She is dead. If oxygen was not being pushed into her lungs and her heart not being made to beat by machines, her body would decompose. Her wishes regarding her body and everything in it, and tho…

          This woman, while dead now, made her wishes clear before her death. Her family has the legal right to honor those wishes. Of course the woman herself is past caring since she is dead, but her body remains and should be dealt with according to her wishes and those of her family. If a person lost all legal rights upon death, what would be the point of wills? Of funeral directives? We wouldn’t have to sign documents to allow our organs to be used after death. Grave-robbing would not be a crime. Finding a family member dead at home and simply tossing their remains into the nearest dumpster or plowing them into the compost pile without informing anyone would be okey-dokey. And those stupid families of missing-and-presumed dead people – what are they all upset about? Why expend any effort to try to find their loved one’s body – it’s just a corpse, right? Medical schools could simply back a truck up to the loading docks of hospitals and nursing homes without a care – they’re just carcasses, after all. But wait – they can’t! When I was in nursing school, the cadavers we studied were treated with strictly-enforced professional respect and had to be returned as intact as possible to the family for burial or cremation within a stated time. That time period and what could be done to the body was defined in legal documents that the deceased either filled out before death or the family consented to after death. A body is never “just a corpse” to the people who loved that person, and the law has obviously recognized that reality.

          I can also state from experience that the disposition of the body of a loved one is overwhelmingly important to the family, since it is all they have left of that person. After my son was murdered, it was intensely painful to learn of what had been done to his body, even knowing that he no longer was capable of caring. Having his body returned to us, and deciding what to do with it, were very private, very emotional, and very personal events. To have these decisions taken away from us by the state would have been unbearable. This is the issue with this woman and her family. The family has a right to say their goodbyes and decide the disposition of her body so they can move on in their grief process. How cruel and inhumane to deprive them of this.

          • My heart goes out to you,Sue.I am so sorry for your loss, being a mother myselfIn reply to #35 by Sue Blue:

            In reply to #27 by Katy Cordeth:

            In reply to #24 by Sue Blue:

            This woman is dead. She is not in a coma. She is not in a vegetative state. She is dead. If oxygen was not being pushed into her lungs and her heart not being made to beat by machines, her body would decompose. Her wishes regarding her…

          • In reply to #35 by Sue Blue:

            In reply to #27 by Katy Cordeth:

            This woman, while dead now, made her wishes clear before her death. Her family has the legal right to honor those wishes. Of course the woman herself is past caring since she is dead, but her body remains and should be dealt with according to her wishes and those of her family.

            We only have the word of Mrs. Munoz’s family that she said she wouldn’t want to be kept artificially alive in the event of brain death. There’s no mention of a living will or any other legal documentation to support this assertion. How do you know she wouldn’t want to remain alive if it meant saving the life she was carrying? By all accounts she was a loving mother to her firstborn child; three months into her second pregnancy isn’t it possible she would have hormonally bonded – I don’t even know if that’s a thing – with the second and begun to love it?

            If a person lost all legal rights upon death, what would be the point of wills? Of funeral directives? We wouldn’t have to sign documents to allow our organs to be used after death.

            You mean people wouldn’t have to die needlessly for want of a viable heart or other life-saving organ? There is a massive worldwide shortage of donor organs, which can be attributed to the way we fetishize our dead. I agree with what InYourFaceNewYorker said in her comment #31:

            This is where I step in and say that I wish that organ harvesting were a routine procedure after deaths in which the organs are still viable, that people didn’t have to register as organ donors. Why do we even need an organ donor registry? It’s emotionalism, pure unadulterated emotionalism. What the hell do people think they’ll need their organs for when they’re dead?

            If someone needs a liver or they’ll die, and there’s a healthy one no longer being used, then to hell with squeamishness, or religious or familial concerns. The living take precedence over the dead; that’s a no-brainer, surely.

            …Grave-robbing would not be a crime. Finding a family member dead at home and simply tossing their remains into the nearest dumpster or plowing them into the compost pile without informing anyone would be okey-dokey.

            This is what they call a slippery-slope fallacy, Sue. All these things would still be criminal.

            And those stupid families of missing-and-presumed dead people – what are they all upset about? Why expend any effort to try to find their loved one’s body – it’s just a corpse, right?

            We’ve all heard those whose relatives are missing and presumed dead say the worst thing for them is not having a conclusive answer. I think this tends to be the issue here, rather than their not having access to any mortal remains. Some murder victims’ family members have found some comfort in a killer’s confession, even when he was unwilling or unable to reveal the whereabouts of the body; though this is not always the case.

            Medical schools could simply back a truck up to the loading docks of hospitals and nursing homes without a care – they’re just carcasses, after all. But wait – they can’t! When I was in nursing school, the cadavers we studied were treated with strictly-enforced professional respect and had to be returned as intact as possible to the family for burial or cremation within a stated time. That time period and what could be done to the body was defined in legal documents that the deceased either filled out before death or the family consented to after death.

            Precisely what I mean when I say we as a species tend to fetishize our dead. I have to say too that, as tenderly and respectfully as you and your fellow students treated the remains of those who had generously allowed their meat to be used after their death in furtherance of education – in contrast to most of the stories one usually hears about the sort of shenanigans medical students routinely get up to – what happened then was that these bodies were stuck six feet under the ground to decay or placed in an oven and turned into ashes.

            We’ve been culturally conditioned to see interment under the earth or incremation as inherently respectful; we might even cluck our tongue at those Indians who send their deceased relatives floating off down the Ganges river, or feel a little repulsed by the Tibetans and their sky burials. We know the proper way to do this sort of thing, and it gives us comfort. But it’s just pre-programming.

            A body is never “just a corpse” to the people who loved that person, and the law has obviously recognized that reality.

            I’m afraid it is, Sue. Eventually, anyway. Otherwise, taxidermists would be the ones we summoned when death occurred rather than funeral directors. In most instances we let go of the attachment we have to the flesh rather quickly, and take solace from our memories. I think that’s what funeral rites are about and why they’re so important to most of us: a way of severing the connection with the corporeal.

    • I warmly second Timothy McNamara. This is one heck of a tricky one. Let’s not let our dislike of the religiots blind us to the many layers of ethical concern here, on every side. I don’t pretend to know the answer, but this is a dreadfully tragic, messy, complex issue that demands a mature reaction. Let’s keep thinking and avoid the kind of glib responses we are so sick of from the other side.

      • In reply to #26 by Mrkimbo:

        I don’t pretend to know the answer, but this is a dreadfully tragic, messy, complex issue that demands a mature reaction.

        It’s not all that complex. A corpse is being kept on machine to host a fetus against the wishes of all the responsible sentient beings involved including the deceased women apparently.

      • In reply to #26 by Mrkimbo:

        I warmly second Timothy McNamara. This is one heck of a tricky one. Let’s not let our dislike of the religiots blind us to the many layers of ethical concern here, on every side. I don’t pretend to know the answer, but this is a dreadfully tragic, messy, complex issue that demands a mature reactio…

        I agree with Skeptic. This isn’t complex, it’s simple. The woman is being used as a baby factory against her wishes and the wishes of her family who are the ones who should be legally empowered to make those kinds of decisions. There is nothing complex that I see, it’s a clear case of an individual’s rights being violated due to religious BS.

        All of you who are pondering about the life of the fetus are totally free to leave instructions so that if YOU are ever in this situation YOUR BODY can be used that way if you want to. I applaud you for your altruism if you make that choice although I’m skeptical very many of you are rushing out to revise your living wills in reality and since most of you are men it is a lot easier for you to make moral claims about a choice you will never have to make. But for us to argue over the life of the baby vs. the woman’s rights and her family is pointless. It’s not our body and not our decision.

  8. Who or what is going to pay for this? The insurance company is not responsible, The patient is not responsible. That leaves the hospital and the texas state “Law makers”. The governor signed the law so the final bill goes to the governor.

  9. As a counter example, imagine if the family was urging the life support to be maintained, so that their (potential) child might have a chance to survive, as opposed to no chance at all if switched off. But the State, or the insurance company, or the hospital was saying it had to pull the plug unless someone stepped up to pay the bills. Wouldn’t you side with the family, maybe even to the extent of chipping in for the expense?

    But this is not the case. Here, the family appears to have no interest in the survival of this particular little gene vehicle, perhaps because they’ve got plenty of others, and/or plenty of better opportunities, or they have reached the conclusion that the odds are too far stacked against delivering a healthy baby. Or they’d have aborted this one anyway, for whatever (private) reasons. If the state has taken charge, then I suppose the state must foot the bill, and make provision for the rest of the (probably handicapped) child’s future, it cannot be foisted back onto the family. It does look like the family need a good lawyer, not to fight the state over the life-support decision, but to get it to commit to paying for the consequences of its decision.

  10. Im involved in a situation where young woman overdosed at 8 weeks of pregnancy. She didn’t have the proper level of oxygen for over four hours low blood sugar the works. She was on life support for 2 1/2 months then medical coma due to her seizures the rest of the pregnancy. She is now vegetation state .Breathes on her own. The miracle the baby is now 12 months old and perfect! We have a MRI report to prove it! We have adopted her and helping care for birth mom too. I wish this husband could see this babies face it might bring Hope in this dark time. Would not lay down his life for their son at home? What makes his other child any different ? From the pics of the family she seemed like a good mom. Any mother that loves her babies would lay down their life for them to live. The only thing that I can think of us the husband is scared to take care if this child or is it really his child? I will pray for God to speak to their hearts. I wish there was away they could see our little Hope maybe it would help them believe!

  11. Your situation is not a miracle. Medical science not God allowed her to live 2.5 months on life support, otherwise she would have died.

    Comatose women make fabulous incubators. Seriously, I am not joking. Sometimes laying around is good for a pregnancy.

    The difference is that this woman is not in a coma, but is actually dead. Do you find it acceptable that a dead woman is used as an incubator? The family’s wishes are being ignored.

    This corpse can be kept functional for another 5.5 months and maybe the child will be born healthy. What if there is a problem with oxygen when it is being delivered and the child ends up handicapped? Who will be responsible, God? or medical error?

    I googled hoping to find your story. I found one similar except she overdosed at 10 weeks, but the baby died five days later. I found several other young women in a coma after auto accidents, scooter accidents and overdosing, most gave birth as a result of rape while in a nursing home. No miracle, but rape caused these young women to give birth.

    In which case do you have ties?

    Gemma

    LA woman

    WA woman, Nancy

    Russian woman

    Holmes

    Rochester RC woman

    Grand Rapids woman

    Carolina S.

    Marla

    Shannon K.

    As you can see, your supposed miracle is not rare. Again this is a corpse not a woman in a coma.

    I have to question the real reason that you are here.

  12. The family has stated the wish of the deceased, which coincides with their own, unequivocally.These people are suffering at the moment and to stretch out their pain for another 18 weeks or so, strikes me as inhumane.

    The state of Texas should butt out. Let the family come to terms with this terrible loss and give them a chance to heal, slowly.

  13. Several comments and replies to my posts deserve response so I shall quickly attempt to do so…

    Skeptic #18 Your comment was robotic even to my standards. Gene percentages deposited hardly entered the minds of my sister, brother nor I. Given the baby killed was to be my sister’s first, and her reproductive organs were removed to save her life. The illogical hypothetical will to trade places with the baby stems also from witnessing the mental toll inflicted. This should fade with time.

    Stevehill #20 I’d question assumptions regarding the deceased woman’s will to bring her unborn baby with her. Unless of course the specific letter stated “If I have a pulmonary embolism and drop dead whilst pregnant, we both go. regardless of medical technology, kill it”. I also object to placing “single parent” as some type of tragedy. I offer sincere condolences for the hardships you’ve endured and thank you strongly for your reply.

    Sue Blue #24 I thank you for your sharing of wisdom and am horrified by the tale of hardship and tragedy you so bravely shared with us here.

    MrKimbo #26 Thanks for the flattery and I agree that pointlessly argumentative, glib comments are a disappointment sometimes.

    Katy Kordeth #27 What a logical and intelligent response to some points raised. The contradiction had occurred to me also, to do with some who seem adamant upon upholding ‘rights’. Some seem to champion that a “dead” person shouldn’t be “forced”, despite admitting an absence of any “will” whatsoever.

    Posts #28,#29 If this is simple to you guys, your life experience must be truly daunting.

    • In reply to #33 by Timothy McNamara:

      Posts #28,#29 If this is simple to you guys, your life experience must be truly daunting.

      Daunting? No quite the opposite: quiet, reflective, rational and happy. It’s not a complex issue because the fetus has nothing resembling sentience at 14 weeks and no one seems to want to raise it. I know how to disassociate emotion from reason most of the time even though in this case it’s a non-issue for me.

  14. Wait, I don’t get this. Why do people want to let the baby die when they can clearly keep him or her alive? Would a mother want to kill her own baby because she has to die? It might be hard for the family but that is not the babies fault. It seems quite noble to sustain a child as a mothers last gift to her child. As her husband, I would be proud to receive this final gift. In a sense allowing her to live on.

  15. A bunch of religious people are playing the eugenics card. They say that the brain dead woman is disabled and the hydrocephalic fetus has “special needs.” I guess, then, that dead people are merely “living impaired” or “living challenged.”

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