Tell Texas not to Force Life Support on Pregnant Women

Erick Muñoz woke on the morning of November 26th to find his wife, Marlise, unconscious on the kitchen floor. Doctors suspected that a blood clot blocked her air flow, according to NBC coverage. She was declared brain dead and put on life support at Fort Worth’s John Peter Smith Hospital. This was not the end of the Muñozes' suffering, however.

Marlise Muñoz, who did not wish to be hooked up to life support machines in the event of a fatal injury, was nonetheless forced to remain on life support by Texas doctors. This is because a Texas state law forbids doctors from removing life support from pregnant patients. According to the law, “A person may not withdraw or withhold life-sustaining treatment under this subchapter from a pregnant patient."

Doctors have told Muñoz’s family that she must stay on life support until she miscarries or reaches 24 weeks, at which point they can run tests on the fetus. Then they will decide whether to start labor, perform a C-section, or see if she will last 34 or 36 weeks, when the fetus will reach full term. Doctors are forcing her to carry her fetus to term, even though the fetus has been determined not viable, or unable to survive outside the womb.

“It’s been heart wrenching and we’re all emotionally drained,” Marlise Muñoz’s mother said. “It’s one thing if you don’t know what your child would have wanted, but if you do know and then for it not to happen . . . it’s been very frustrating for all of us.”

Please sign this petition and tell Texas lawmakers to repeal the law forcing pregnant women to remain on life support. In cases such as Marlise Muñoz, it is cruel and unethical to force patients and families to endure so much suffering. Allow Marlise Muñoz and other pregnant women the right to reject life support.

Texas Legislature—

The recent case of Marlise Munoz, a pregnant Texas woman who collapsed in November, has made it clear how cruel Texas's "Pregnant Patients" state law is. The law forbids pregnant women from having life support removed. This law has caused needless suffering to Marlise Munoz, her family, and any other women in her position who may wish to be taken off of life support if fatally injured. The undersigned ask that Texas repeal the "Pregnant Patients" law and give pregnant patients their right to reject life support.


Update #13 years ago
UPDATE: Victory! As of January 24th, Marlise Muñoz will no longer be subjected to life support against her wishes. District Judge R.H. Wallace ordered that Muñoz be taken off life support by Monday, 5:00 pm central time. See this story for more information:
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