Is forced pregnant patients to stay on life support is right or wrong?

by pamelagarneau on Février 5, 2014 - 8:42am

I choose an article, written by Manny Fernandez and Erik Eckholm, about Marlise Munoz who is brain-death, 14 weeks pregnant and forced to stay on life support. She was 33 when the doctors diagnosed Marlise Munroz brain-death from a blood clot in her lungs.  Her wish was not to be left on life support and John Peter Smith Hospital at Fort Worth in Texas did not want to execute her and her family wish because of their laws which stipulate that they cannot cutting off life support to a pregnant patient. 


Jill Labbe, a spokeswoman for the J.P.S Health Network who’s on the side of the hospital’s actions, claims that J.P.S Hospital will always follow the law as long as it applies to health care. On the other hand, many states adopted ,since the 1980s, laws authorizing patients or the family to choose about life support of terminally ill pregnant or not women, explain Katherine A. Taylor, a lawyer and bioethicist at Drexel University in Philadelphia. These states who follow the most restrictive such laws, which require life-support treatments as long as the pregnancy is, reject women rights that allow them to direct their health care in advance and determine how they want to die, asserts Ms. Taylor. Every cases that Jeffrey P. Spike, professor of clinical ethics at the University of Texas medical school in Houston, knew of terminally ill or brain-dead pregnant women on life support were decided with the patient or family’s wishes. Lynne Machado explains that it makes no difference the experts’ choice because all they wants is honoured Ms. Munoz last wishes.



That situation involves many ethical issues. The Texas’ law, about continuing life support to a pregnant patient, is based with the support among the opposition of abortion. Joe Pojman, executive director of Texas Alliance for Life asserts the fetus should be considered as a separate person and that he agree the treatments of life support to try as hard as possible to rescue the child alive. The hospital assumes applying the law, but the law states that a person may not withdraw or withhold life-sustaining treatment from a pregnant patient. So the issue in this case is does the law must be also applies to pregnant patients who are brain-dread or only to those in a coma or a vegetative state. This is why several expert in medical ethics said the J.P.S Hospital was misconceive the situation. An other arguments on side of legal and ethical experts would say that brain death which is an absence of neurological activity is considered as legally death. Following that argument Thomas W. Mayo, an expert on health care law and bioethics at the Southern Methodist University law school in Dallas, claims that if Ms. Munoz is legally dead, she should not be considered as a patient and even less envisaged treatments options for her. An other point is that if Ms. Munoz is only at 14 weeks of pregnancy, she would have the legal right to an abortion.


I personally feel that our last wish should be realized after our death even if we are pregnant. It is as much important for the family to honoured the death person that they unconditionally love. The J.P.S Hospital follows the laws, but the laws is not always right. Several great people were able to prove it to us during our history, such as Martin Luther King Jr. who transgressed specific laws because they mismatched with some moral principles.


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