Texas man wants to end pregnant wife's life support

Dec. 23, 2013 at 8:35 AM

FORT WORTH, Texas, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- A Texas man said he wants to end life support for his pregnant wife, but state law puts the rights of their 18-week-old fetus above the desires of the mother.

Marlise Munoz, 33, became brain dead Nov. 26 when she collapsed from a suspected pulmonary embolism, ABC News reported Monday.

Her husband, Erick Munoz, a paramedic, found her on the living room floor of their Tarrant County, Texas, home, and performed CPR before an ambulance arrived.

"They don't know how long the baby was without nutrients and oxygen," Erick Munoz said. "But I'm aware what challenges I might face ahead."

Erick Munoz said he and his wife, who was also a paramedic, had decided they didn't want to be kept alive by machines before Marlise Munoz fell ill. He said he wants to end her life support.

"It's hard to reach the point where you wish your wife's body would stop," he told WFAA-TV, Dallas.

Texas law, though, puts the rights of the fetus first.

"A person may not withdraw or withhold life-sustaining treatment under this subchapter from a pregnant patient," the law says.

Erick Munoz would have to get a judge to grant an injunction or restraining order in order to end the woman's life support, ABC News said.

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