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Hullabaloo


Thursday, January 23, 2014

 
This is like something out of science fiction

by digby

The latest on the Munoz tragedy in Texas:

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.”
The 22-week-old fetus’s lower extremities are deformed and it is impossible to determine its gender, the attorneys for the woman’s husband, Erick Muñoz, said in an emailed statement.

“The fetus suffers from hydrocephalus [water on the brain]. It also appears that there are further abnormalities, including a possible heart problem, that cannot be specifically determined due to the immobile nature of Mrs. Muñoz’s deceased body,” the statement said.

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.

JPS officials refused, citing a state law requiring that a pregnant woman remain on life support until the fetus is viable, usually at 24 to 26 weeks.

Wednesday’s statement from attorneys Heather King and Jessica Janicek does not say whether the fetus is viable.

On Friday, state District Judge R.H. Wallace is scheduled to hear arguments about the law and whether to grant the family’s request.

Marlise Muñoz discussed with her family her wish not to have her life prolonged artificially, and she was competent when she made her wishes known, according to the lawsuit.
Unsurprisingly, it turns out that science doesn't have much data to determine how gestation in the uterus of a woman being kept alive by artificial means affects the fetus. The one study they have is from small sample of 19 cases that shows some fetuses develop properly and some don't. But they really have no idea what the causes or effects of such outcomes rally are. Evidently, the authorities aren't concerned with such trivialities. The broad brush of the law, at the behest of zealots and simpletons, has spoken and says that any braindead pregnant woman's body must be kept working through artificial means regardless of her own wishes or even the state of the fetus.

I just can't understand how these "traditionalists" can go along with something so bizarre.

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