Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

1/24/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (

Texas law forbids withholding, withdrawing life-sustaining treatment for a pregnant patient

Overwhelmingly complex questions about what defines a living entity are set to be decided in a Texas courtroom. Thirty-three-year-old Marlise Munoz, pregnant with her husband's child, fell into a vegetative state last November. Her family says that she is clinically brain dead, and therefore dead. Texas law, however, forbids the withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining treatment for a pregnant patient.

In a lawsuit trying to force the hospital to take her off life support, Erick Munoz contends doctors told him his wife 'had lost all activity in her brain stem' and an accompanying chart stated that she was 'brain dead.'

In a lawsuit trying to force the hospital to take her off life support, Erick Munoz contends doctors told him his wife "had lost all activity in her brain stem" and an accompanying chart stated that she was "brain dead."


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

1/24/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Marriage & Family

Keywords: brain death, pregnant mother, court decision, life sustaining

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Erick, Munoz' husband, says she is not a patient because she is not alive. He other family members say the hospital should abide by her wishes, which were relayed verbally to them and not have machines keep her organs and blood running.
Lawyers for Munoz's family are squaring off in court with those representing Fort Worth's John Peter Smith Hospital. At heart of the controversy is whether she and the fetus inside her worth sustaining using devices like a respirator and ventilator, as the hospital has done.

Join the only initiative that stops abortion cold.

Both Marlise and Erick Munoz were two trained paramedics awaiting the arrival of their second child. On November 26, she was rushed to the north-central Texas hospital, where her husband and her family were informed that she "was for all purposes brain dead." The family also says the fetus may have been deprived of oxygen.
In a lawsuit trying to force the hospital to take her off life support, Erick Munoz contends doctors told him his wife "had lost all activity in her brain stem" and an accompanying chart stated that she was "brain dead."

Erick Munoz also says that little is left that was at one time recognizable about Marlise. Her bones crack when her stiff limbs move, exuding a "smell of death." And her once lively eyes have become "soulless.

"Over these past two months, nothing about my wife indicates she is alive," Erick Munoz said. "... What sits in front of me is a deteriorating body."

Munoz says the justification for keeping his wife alive amount "to nothing more than the cruel and obscene mutilation of a deceased body against the expressed will of the deceased and her family."

The family's attorneys more recently said that Marlise's fetus "is distinctly abnormal," suffering from hydrocephalus and "deformed to the extent that the gender cannot be determined.

"Quite sadly, this information is not surprising due to the fact that the fetus, after being deprived of oxygen for an indeterminate length of time, is gestating within a dead and deteriorating body, as a horrified family looks on in absolute anguish, distress and sadness," attorneys Jessica Janicek and Heather King said in a statement.

It is hoped that "the courts are the appropriate venue to provide clarity, direction and resolution in this matter."

Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action'...


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Marriage & Family

Dying man blesses family with a heartbreaking ceremony before death Watch

Image of McHugh family


Ken McHugh is a devoted husband and father of four. He would do anything for his wife and children, including putting on a brave face despite a grim diagnosis. With an uncertain amount of time left for McHugh, the McHugh family held a bittersweet ceremony with the ... continue reading

Oregon shooter similar to Sandy Hook shooter Watch

Image of School shooter profiles.


Investigations into Christopher Harper-Mercer revealed eerie similarities to Adam Lanza, the man responsible for the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. After murdering nine people and wounding several more at Umpqua Community College in Oregon last week, stories of ... continue reading

Syrian women speak out against men who abandoned wives and children when escaping ISIS Watch

Image of Syrian wives and women call on to their men to come back to Syria and redeem the country (Mohammed Azakir-Reuters)


Wives and mothers in Syrian refugee camps continue to condemn the men who fled to Europe in an effort to escape ISIS. The women feel abandoned and say it is forbidden under Islam to leave your home nation, especially during time of crisis. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading

Toddler and 17 dogs rescued from deplorable living contidions Watch

Image of The toddler, dogs, and bird were all rescued (Thibodaux Police Department).


Police found and rescued a five-year-old toddler and 17 dogs living in unsanitary and "deplorable" conditions in Louisiana. Thibodaux Police Department officials described human waste, urine and rotten food among the horrendous conditions discovered throughout the ... continue reading

Hungarian Cardinal declares remarried Catholics must refrain from sex if they want to receive communion Watch

Image of Pope Francis [not pictured] leans toward a more merciful approach when it comes to Catholic teachings and laws.


In a meeting with the world's bishops, a Vatican-supported Cardinal declared that unless both parties agree never to engage in sexual activity, Catholics who remarry will continue to be banned from receiving communion. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Hungarian ... continue reading

Christian bakery continues to refuse to pay $135,000 fine to lesbian couple over a wedding cake Watch

Image of Melissa and Aaron Klein.

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Melissa and Aaron wanted to fight all the way for their religious views, including ignoring blatantly and intentionally the imposed fine for not baking the lesbian wedding cake. In response to the statement made by the spokesperson for the Oregon Bureau of Labor and ... continue reading

7 things husband secretly love about their wives Watch

Image of What men love about their wives!


Men can sometimes have trouble opening up about their feelings and thoughts. Most men want to tell their wives what they really, really love about them, but find the words hard to say. If your husband is not giving you words of affirmation but shows you his feelings in ... continue reading

Top 4 ways to serve God Watch

Image of Serving God.


We look at our fellow Christians doing missionary work abroad and wish we could impact people's lives as greatly. Well, God is everywhere and His children are all around us - we can serve without even leaving the country. The best service is rooted at home, in giving ... continue reading

Dear Sweet Mamas: A powerful and emotional open letter to the mothers of the Oregon shooting victims Watch

Image of


Several reports stated that the gunman who killed nine at the Umpqua Community College in Oregon specifically targeted Christians. Although the motive behind the shooting has yet to be verified, one victim's father relayed his daughter's story that they were asked ... continue reading

Pope Francis met privately with gay couple during U.S. visit Watch

Image of Yayo Grassi pictured with Pope Francis


Reports reveal Pope Francis' historic visit to the U.S. included a private meeting with a gay couple, prior to his meeting with Kentucky clerk Kim Davis and her husband. WASHINGTON D.C. (Catholic Online) - Another unexpected event has been revealed from the pope's ... continue reading

All Marriage & Family News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Joel 1:13-15; 2:1-2
13 Priests, put on sackcloth and lament! You ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 9:2-3, 6, 16, 8-9
6 the enemy is wiped out -- mere ruins for ever -- ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 11:15-26
15 But some of them said, 'It is through Beelzebul, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 9th, 2015 Image

Sts. Denis, Rusticus, and Eleutherius
October 9: The first mention we have of these three martyrs who died around ... Read More