It seems grotesque that a woman’s lifeless body can be commandeered by a state and used as a petri dish in which to grow a baby. But that’s exactly what happened to Marlise Munoz in Texas, and that is what is going to happen to women in Louisiana should Gov. Bobby Jindal sign HB 1274 into law.
The Louisiana legislature passed a bill that requires physicians to keep brain-dead women who are pregnant on mechanical support if the physician determines there is a chance the fetus is viable.
After emotional testimony given by opponents of a bill that would allow the state of Louisiana to invalidate any advance directives when a patient is pregnant, regardless of the viability of the fetus, a committee voted to pass the bill and send it to the full senate.
The state’s House Health and Welfare Committee unanimously approved a bill Wednesday that would prohibit a family from directing physicians to remove mechanical support from a brain-dead pregnant woman.
The recent Marlise Munoz case should be a call to action for anyone who believes that pregnant women and their families deserve respect. More than 30 states have laws that require a pregnant woman to be kept on mechanical support no matter what her living will says, and it is time for that to change.
There’s a growing conflict between states that recognize a fundamental right to make end-of-life decisions and those that override those wishes only when a person is pregnant.
As more courts recognize a patient’s privacy rights to make end-of-life health-care decisions, it’s become clear that what courts characterize as “fundamental rights” don’t apply to pregnant people.
Marlise Munoz’s family will finally be able to say goodbye to the 33-year-old, who collapsed in her home nearly nine weeks ago.
The Friday ruling came after Munoz’s family asked a court to let them bury her.
The husband of the 33-year-old pregnant Texas woman who collapsed in her home just before Thanksgiving has filed suit against the hospital that refuses to take her off life support, despite her stated wishes against such treatment.