Munoz Medical Records Detail ‘Distinctly Abnormal’ Fetus


Read more of our coverage on Marlise Munoz’s case here.

Attorneys for Marlise Munoz, the pregnant Texas woman who hospital officials have refused to take off life support since she collapsed in her home in November, say that the now-22-week-old fetus inside her is “distinctly abnormal.”

“Even at this early stage, the lower extremities are deformed to the extent that the gender cannot be determined,” said attorneys Heather King and Jessica Janicek in a statement released Wednesday. They added that the fetus also “suffers from hydrocephalus,” and that “further abnormalities, including a possible heart problem,” cannot yet be determined because of the “immobile nature of Mrs. Munoz’s deceased body.”

Munoz was 14 weeks pregnant when she collapsed from what may have been a pulmonary embolism; her paramedic husband, Erick Munoz, attempted to revive her, but doctors estimate she may have been without oxygen for more than an hour in the early morning of November 26, 2013.

Once she was hospitalized, medical officials said they had no choice but to force her to remain on life support, due to a Texas law that invalidates any advance directives a person may have given if that person is pregnant.

According to Marlise Munoz’s husband and parents, she said multiple times that she never wanted to be kept on life support. They say that because she is brain dead, she is legally deceased and should no longer be receiving any medical treatment whatsoever. Like her husband, Munoz was a paramedic, and her family says she had a thorough understanding of her end-of-life directives.

Attorneys for the Munoz family have filed suit against John Peter Smith Hospital, asking a judge to let the family remove Marlise Munoz from life support, take custody of her body, and begin their grieving process. While the details of the fetus’ condition have “no legal relevance to the pending litigation,” attorneys said, they wanted to ensure that there would be “absolutely no misconception about the condition of the fetus or the status of Marlise Munoz’s deceased body.” Their statement concludes:

We reiterate, our client’s position is that the statute prohibiting the withholding of life sustaining measures from a pregnant patient does not apply to the dead. Were that to be true, then it would be incumbent upon all health care providers to immediately conduct pregnancy tests on any woman of child bearing age who becomes deceased, and upon determining the deceased body was pregnant, hooking the body up to machines in an attempt to continue gestation. Surely, such a result was never intended nor should it be inferred.

A hearing on the Munoz lawsuit is scheduled for Friday morning in Fort Worth.

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  • lady_black

    Is anyone surprised? Now can we please stop this abuse of a corpse, disconnect this poor woman and let her family grieve for her?

    • Defamate

      Nope! There were multiple asshats on alternet claiming that the fetus was ‘healthy and thriving; it has a strong heartbeat’

      hah!

      The fucking heart Is not healthy!!

      Twits.

      • lady_black

        Their definition of “thriving” must be very different from mine. It’s time now to put a stop to this monstrosity.

        • Defamate

          Yeah, and these medical ‘experts’ assured us that the ‘baby’ would be fine, because at 14 weeks they don’t need much oxygen!

          I love how they projected their idiotic optimism onto it, thinking that ‘it has a beating heart’ translates to ‘healthy and thriving’ which then translated to ‘will be born a happy bouncing baby’

          People are idiots.

          • lady_black

            LOL. I assume you mean the “medical expects” on Personhood USA, and a few of the usual trolls on this site. The “baby” is NOT “fine” and it’s never going to be “fine.” Even a fetus suffering from anencephaly will have a beating heart in utero. Most die at birth, or “live” for a few hours. Lacking a brain, I don’t think they suffer. But that still has to be horrible to watch. Now that they know the fetus is hopelessly defective, the plug should be pulled. Let this family bury her, for the love of mercy. There is nothing good to be gained out of this horror show.

          • Defamate

            Exactly. The same hysterical idiots who kept saying that jahi mcmath was still alive.

          • Jennifer Starr

            And still keep saying it. Some of the people on the Facebook page for Jahi–it’s just cruel, the things they keep pushing. Apparently the cure for brain death is ginkgo biloba and fish oil–just insane.

          • Defamate

            People are so fucked up.

          • Defamate

            I just went to the Personhood USA article…wow…

            OK, first off, Marlise Munoz is *alive*. Really?

            ok….fine

            And the commentariat…wot? They sound like the proto-typical redneck fuckwits that you would find in a movie like Deliverence tee hee.

          • expect_resistance

            I know it’s insanity. I was arguing for days with myintx at CNN for days about this.

      • fiona64

        The anti-choicers’ lack of grounding in basic science should be frightening to *everyone.*

  • Ella Warnock

    Now, who could have seen any of THIS coming?

    • Defamate

      God. When ze caused her to collapse and go without oxygen for an hour.

    • HeilMary1

      And her pregnancy-caused death will never be counted as such, since fetal idolaters were assured by pedophile priests that no pregnancy has ever triggered maternal deaths in human history.

  • lady_black

    As a nurse, I once took care of a patient who had gone without breathing for an extended period of time. Same situation. Nobody knew how long the man was “down” before being revived. It was the only time I was ever revolted by a patient. He was on a ventilator, and it was like a dead body. Cold to the touch. Nothing there. Tissues breaking down all over the place. Every time I had to give care, I had to control my gorge. (And I have seen many things.) I thought it was cruel. He was sent to the nursing home to die. So why the ventilator? I feel SO bad for this woman’s family. I feel for the staff who has to “care” for her. This will haunt their minds for the rest of their lives.

    • expect_resistance

      That is a powerful story. It’s horrible what the family is going through. I can’t imagine their pain.

      I’ve been arguing for days at CNN with anti-choicers who have no grasp on reality. Honestly, if I hear “a fetus is a baby” one more time I’m going to scream and jump up and down until I puke.

      I think our society has a problem dealing with death. Add to that the rabid anti-choicers that objectify pregnant women as baby machines. It’s just such a messed up situation. I hope they take her off “life support” soon. Sorry I don’t know the correct terminology, I know she’s dead so it’s not life support.

      • Defamate

        I think our society has a problem dealing with death.

        And a majority of pro-lifers are religious. Yet they are constantly in a moral panic over death.

        You would think that they would see death as a good thing – go straight to heaven and all that?

        • Mindy McIndy

          That’s because everybody wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die.

        • Ella Warnock

          I think the reason most of them are afraid of death is that they’re terrified that they won’t actually make it into heaven. In the event that there is a heaven, I imagine most of them are right.

        • HeilMary1

          Actually, that was Smother Teresa’s excuse for denying real life-saving medical treatments for her captive poor!

          • Defamate

            speaking of Catholics…get a load of this guy..it’s hard to believe he isn’t trolling..

            http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/01/21/its-not-just-ancient-roman-propaganda-carthaginians-really-did-sacrifice-children/#comment-1215594560

            Check his history, he is quite vile. You might think ‘Poe’ But then again…many catholics think just like this, don’t they?

            ps one dude is really mad at me because I had the temerity to tell him that Mother Theresa exploited the poor. He says I am crazy.

          • expect_resistance

            That’s for posting the link. Hector’s comment is seriously F’d up. So women are trivial according to him? What an asshat.

          • Jennifer Starr

            Good Lord, but he’s offensive. Just beyond belief.

          • Defamate

            Oh I know right?

            He needs a good tearing up, glad you guys decided to say ‘hi’ to him.

          • Jennifer Starr

            I wonder why he calls himself Hector when his name is Nikhil…

          • Defamate

            http://crookedtimber.org/2010/12/03/moderate-doses/

            Check comment #91…still reading through the comments, but he is mentioned later on (according to google) as ‘started posting as Hector St Clare’

            Apparently he is a well known christofascist

          • Jennifer Starr

            He also apparently has a girlfriend of sorts, named Samantha, who’s either too dim to realize what she’s hooking up with or just as loathsome as he is.

          • goatini

            Catholics like him are the reason why the National Catholic Reporter had to discontinue their Disqus comment feed. From Dennis Coday, editor of the NCR:

            “To get an idea of what we are struggling with, read Amanda Hess’ piece at Pacific+Standard, ‘Why Women Aren’t Welcome on the Internet,’ and Conor Friedersdorf’s reaction to Hess on The Atlantic site, ‘When Misogynist Trolls Make Journalism Miserable for Women.’ They may give you some idea of what we are struggling with.”

          • Defamate

            Funny. Because they always talk about how women and men are equal in the eyes of God. As long as woman is a baby factor/house slave.

          • goatini

            The RCC’s “separate but equal” “complimentarianism” is no different from segregation and apartheid.

    • HeilMary1

      The LITTER Sisters of the Poor should be forced to care for her and help with the tab.

  • bitchybitchybitchy

    A young woman is dead, and being kept on a machine to keep what is most likely a non-viable fetus “alive” -this has to be a nightmare for her husband and family.

    • lady_black

      Absolutely.

  • Mindy McIndy

    There are so many creepy angles to this. Could this lead to any woman of childbearing age who is clinically braindead to be given a pregnancy test and be forced to be hooked up to machines until she gives birth to her very ill, very deformed fetus? And they are sticking the husband with the medical bills, because her insurance no longer covers her due to the fact that she is, you know, DEAD. With a death certificate and everything.

    • lady_black

      If there is a death certificate, they will play HELL getting any money out of the husband. I don’t know of any judge who would force a man to pay for treating a corpse. It’s barbaric.

      • renfriend

        Texas.

        • Mindy McIndy

          You are so right, my friend. They would totally pull that in Texas. People in my circle tell me not to worry about him having to pay the medical bills, but Texas is like a foreign country to the rest of the US. They will do and pull anything possible.

  • Lynnsey

    This is like a horror movie. It’s more terrifying, in fact, than any I’ve seen.

    My heart just aches for this man and the whole family. To have your loved one’s wishes so blatantly disregarded and then to watch as the state mandates that her corpse be kept warm for months for the sake of a non-viable fetus. I can’t think of any greater invasion into what should be private medical decisions and no greater statement of what these people think a woman’s purpose and value is.

    It is my dearest wish that this case, at least, makes people wake up to this kind of obscenity and do something to try and change it.

    • Defamate

      What creeped me out the most is how people were saying that the dad 1)
      wants nothing more than to murder this baybee, and that the child should
      immediately be taken from him once it is born as a healthy normal
      infant 2) the woman clearly wanted a baby, therefore, she would want her DNR ignored for her baby

      These people are idiots, on a massive scale. And to come right out and say that the dad is a Jeffrey Dahmer just because he wants his wife to be buried is fucking moronic in the extreme. Where do these idiots get off thinking that they speak for Mrs Munoz and her husband?? No really? The arrogance is un-fucking believable. They want to ruin somebody else’s life and disrespect a woman’s corpse all because of their hangups regarding death. They are the selfish ones, but they’d need to look in a mirror to realize it.

      • Lynnsey

        Agreed. Apart from the whole keeping a corpse warm to act as incubator horror show and the allegations that this man was somehow a bad father for wanting to honor his wife’s wishes regarding her bodily autonomy there was all the requisite internet “expertise” abounding about prenatal development. The sheer ignorance of what the level of fetal development at 14 weeks actually is was astonishing to me. The utter refusal to understand how long it would take to get that fetus to the very CUSP of viability (which, as far as I’m concerned, is oftentimes not all that viable in reality) was shocking. The dismissal of what an hour or so without oxygen would potentially do (and,as it bears out, in fact did) to the development of this fetus as not being a huge issue in the long-term for this family in terms of financial, emotional, and physical impact was so absurd I could hardly wrap my head around it. This country could desperately use a biology class.

        • lady_black

          I seriously doubt this fetus will be viable, EVER. We already know it has issues that are extremely serious, and likely deadly. And we don’t know the true extent of the damage yet. A heart problem will definitely cause problems with the lung development. The kindest thing they could do is disconnect her, and let her family have her. They’ve suffered enough.

          • Lynnsey

            Oh, I agree. It was highly improbable months ago that this fetus would ever truly be viable. Preterm babies born prior to 25 weeks gestation have such a low chance of survival to begin with (and when they do, most have such profound neurological and physical issues that I find the use of the word “viable” questionable anyways) that compounding it with the oxygen deprivation and being gestated in a dead body made the online ranting of these loons all the more deranged. My point was that the absolute “best case” (for lack of a better term) for mere survival would have brought with it a likely insurmountable burden for the family.

  • Ella Warnock

    So, hey, rabid “pro-lifers, what’s up? This ridiculous law that your ilk think is the best thing since sliced bread – how much did it extend the sorrow of this family and the tragedy of this situation?

    Was it worth it?

    It didn’t affect any of you or your loved ones in any way at all, so of course that’s a stupid question. Of course you think it’s worth it. It always is when it destroys someone else, isn’t it? That’s always the viewpoint of a sociopath.

    Oh well, you made your “statement” about “life.” And we all know that’s FAR MOAR important than the Munoz family. Yep, you told them, didn’t you? You certainly weren’t going to miss an opportunity to show them that not allowing the rest of the pro-lie world make life or death decisions for them was “selfish” on their part.

    So, job well done. You’re certainly the, ah . . . best, at what you do.

    • Ella Warnock

      Aww, only three cowardly little downvotes? Come on, haters, you can do better than that!

  • Trollface McGee

    Well, once the child is born, it’s a product of sin, therefore its life no longer matters. If it dies in utero, then it’s God’s will. If it lives and is severely disabled, then the pro-lifers can fetishise the father’s suffering as powerful pro-life testimony. A dead/disabled baby, a dead woman, a grieving family… it’s win-win for the “pro-lifers.”

    • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

      Because they are all nuts.

  • Lynnsey

    Here’s a question, as I’m not a lawyer…Don’t these laws at least flirt with some kind of gender-based violation of equal protection under the law? I mean, the state says that you can make decisions ahead of time about your health care in the face of some kind of catastrophic injury or whatnot UNLESS you’re a pregnant women in which case those decisions are completely disregarded. If I weren’t pregnant, I or my family would have to give permission for even my organs to be used because we protect the dignity of dead bodies whereas in the case of these laws a pregnant woman’s whole body is being used, potentially against her wishes or those of her family. Doesn’t that seem discriminatory?

    • HeilMary1

      “Women-protecting” pro-liars are protecting the dead fetus because it might be a dead FEMALE! Closing barn doors after all the horses have escaped (and died!) makes fetal idolaters feel like heroic brood mare rescuers. “Rescuing” CORPSES and Petri dishes are their specialty.

    • HeilMary1

      Fetal idolaters are most puffed up about their touted generosity and compassion when they force on you wasteful and harmful treatments while denying you the very begged-for treatments that will save you. My family pulled these Munchausen by Proxy scams on me all the time!

  • ldwendy

    I normally don’t make references to LAN, but if you search on their site, there are cases where feti with hydrocephalus has been carried to term and thrived. But I believe the anecdotal evidence on that site doesn’t guarantee the fetus Marlise is carrying will have the same positive result.

    The question is, whether the Munozes can find the funds to cover the massive medical bills without having to give up the child up for adoption. It’s hard to say how much care this child will require until he or she is born.

    Frankly I think the hospital should pay ALL the lifetime medical bills involved since they are the one who forced Erick into this situation by their “interpretation” of the law.

    • HeilMary1

      And Rick Perry, colluding legislature thugs, the RCC and their CPCs. Keep in mind these fetal idolaters pulled the plug a few years ago on a low-income non-white comatose child whose parents wanted him/her kept alive.

      • ldwendy

        Do you have a source for this story? I’d like more details. Thanks in advance.

        • HeilMary1

          I tried googling “poor Texan child denied life support” and keep getting the Munoz case instead. This previous case occurred a few years ago and I don’t remember the names.

          • Jennifer Starr

            I think you’re talking about Sun Hudson: http://www dot chron dot com/news/houston-texas/article/Baby-dies-after-hospital-removes-breathing-tube-1926032 dot php

          • HeilMary1

            Thanks! That sounds like it! I heard about it on internet radio shows back when my home internet worked.

        • goatini

          Jennifer is correct, it was the Sun Hudson case. The State declared that life support be discontinued under the Texas Futile Care Law. Under this law, the grotesque corpse of Ms Munoz would be summarily and immediately dispatched just as soon as they harvest the fetus. Under Texas law, an unviable fetus has MORE rights than any actual living, breathing born citizen – and a woman has less rights than a corpse.

      • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

        They pulled the plug on a conscious woman who requested she be allowed on life support until her Mother could come from India to say good bye.

    • fiona64

      I normally don’t make references to LAN, but if you search on their
      site, there are cases where feti with hydrocephalus has been carried to
      term and thrived. But I believe the anecdotal evidence on that site
      doesn’t guarantee the fetus Marlise is carrying will have the same
      positive result.

      Well, I don’t believe much of anything from Lie-Action News to begin with, but I decided to look this up. http://www.columbianeurosurgery.org/conditions/pediatric-hydrocephalus/

      Quote:

      It is important to realize that while hydrocephalus is very
      treatable, the underlying cause may not be or may have caused
      irreversible damage to the brain. It is important for the doctors taking
      care of a child with hydrocephalus to determine if the problem is
      ongoing or if it has resolved but left enlarged but stable ventricles.
      This can sometimes be difficult to tell and often the decision will be
      based on many factors including symptoms, eye exams, changes in level of
      activity or school performance. In addition to this often the child
      will have repeated (serial) radiographic exams to look for changes in
      the ventricles.

      If the diagnosis of hydrocephalus has been made there are rarely
      options other than surgery for treatment. If a definable mass is causing
      the obstruction of flow it may be possible if not essential to remove
      the mass and allow for normal flow and resolution of the hydrocephalus.
      More often then not the blockage cannot be removed and the fluid needs
      to bypass the normal circulation. Most surgeons use various types of
      systems called shunts to channel the fluid from the ventricles to other
      sites in the body such as the abdominal cavity, chest cavity or the
      heart. Each of these sites have various pros and cons, but by far and
      away the most popular for pediatrics is the abdominal cavity. Here the
      spinal fluid is absorbed onto the surface of the bowels to be returned
      to the blood stream along with the vital salts and other products it
      contains.

      —–
      I guess I just have a different definition of “thriving” than some people.

      • expect_resistance

        That sounds horrible.

      • Defamate

        Remember Captain Cassidy?

        I told her about LAN – she was unfamiliar with it – and after she went to look she comes back and says: “It’s a joke site right? Like The Onion?”

        lololol

  • Ineedacoffee

    When will this .nightmare end.
    Funny where are the pro liars here, crawled back to their hole? Been so vocal until now
    Arrogant pieces of s**t

    • Cactus_Wren

      Oh, I’ve seen them on other fora, chanting their favorite mantras of doctors can be wrong and Give the baby a chance and their current favorite, might not be perfect. As in, “The state wants to murder this poor baby because there’s a chance it might not be perfect.”

      • Ineedacoffee

        *gag*
        Writing what I think of that how its coming into my head would have me barred me thinks