Medical MalpracticeFamily of Brain Dead Woman Sues Hospital for Keeping Her on Life Support

January 22, 2014by Aaron Allison

According to ABC News, the family of a pregnant woman who has been kept on life support against her family’s wishes since November is suing the Texas hospital that is keeping her brain dead body alive.

Marlise Munoz, a 33-year-old paramedic, was 14 weeks pregnant when a suspected pulmonary embolism left her brain dead two months ago. Doctors at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth told her family a Texas law forbade them from withdrawing life support until the baby’s birth or a miscarriage occurred.

According to the motion filed on January 14, another Texas law may trump the law that forbids the hospital from withdrawing life support. The Texas Health and Safety Code defines death as the “irreversible cessation of the person’s spontaneous respiratory and circulatory functions.” Since Munoz has lost all brain stem activity, this law could apply to her.

Munoz’s husband “vehemently” opposes continued life support, and would like to bury his wife. The hospital has interpreted the law in a way that “makes no sense and amounts to nothing more than the cruel and obscene mutilation of a deceased body against the expressed will of the deceased and her family,” the motion reads.

The family hopes that the judge orders the hospital to remove Munoz from life support, and that he finds that the law keeping her on it is unconstitutional.

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This family’s already sad and painful situation must be magnified by this hospital’s actions. If a doctor or hospital has failed to meet a professional standard of care while treating you or a loved one, reach out to our firm today to receive a free consultation of your injury claim by calling (512) 474-8346. You can also leave us a comment on this blog or on our Facebook page, and someone will get back to you shortly.

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Aaron Allison

Aaron Allison, a second-generation personal injury lawyer from Austin, follows in the footsteps of his father, who founded their firm in 1978. Admitted to practice by the Texas Supreme Court, the Federal Court for the Western District of Texas, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court, Aaron brings extensive legal expertise to his clients.

Specializing in personal injury cases, Aaron offers a distinct advantage for Texas workers injured on the job. With Texas workers' compensation laws leading many attorneys to avoid these cases, Aaron is one of only 40 lawyers among 95,000 in Texas who represent injured workers in straight workers' compensation cases. His firm continues to provide dedicated support for those suffering catastrophic work injuries, maintaining a proud tradition of advocacy spanning decades.