Revisiting Brain Death and End of Life Care

Recently, I contrasted the cases of Jahi McMath and Marlise Munoz, both of whom were determined to be brain dead:

The article contrasts Jahi McMath’s case with that of Marlise Munoz from Texas who is kept alive because she is pregnant. Texas state law provides that “‘life-sustaining treatment’ cannot be withheld from a pregnant patient, regardless of her wishes or the age of the fetus.”

Both encountered tremendous obstacles to having the wishes of the family honored and upheld. For Jahi McMath, the family wanted to fight for “life” despite the grim “verdict” associated with the term “brain dead.”

Marlise’s family, on the other hand, wants to honor her wishes not to be kept alive in such a condition.

Now, “State District Judge R.H. Wallace will hear arguments as the husband of Marlise Munoz seeks to remove her from life support.”

Reportedly, hospital officials are “bound by a state law that prohibits the withdrawal of treatment from a pregnant patient.” The case is fodder for groups on both sides of the abortion debate, and anti-abortion groups argue that the approximately 22-week old fetus deserves a chance to be born.

The breaking story has generated a large number of comments thus far.



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