HB 3183 would strike a line in the state’s advance directives code that bars the code from applying in cases where a patient is pregnant. Had such a law been in place in 2013, Marlise Muñoz’s family would have been allowed to refuse mechanical support for her corpse.
A Texas lawmaker has proposed a bill that would give pregnant Texans and their families the same end-of-life decision-making rights as non-pregnant people, striking a line from a health and safety statute that requires pregnant people be kept on mechanical support against their advance directives.
The legislative session kicked off in the states with a bunch of new anti-abortion bills, along with the conviction of an Indiana woman for feticide and neglect of a dependent.
Last winter, the family of Marlise Muñoz had to undergo the terrible ordeal of fighting the state for the ability to take their deceased daughter off mechanical support. Now, a conservative state representative says he plans to make those kinds of heartbreaking decisions even harder—or, perhaps, impossible.
Nearly two weeks after Brittany Maynard used Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act to end her life at the age of 29, the New Jersey General Assembly passed a similar aid in dying bill that gives terminally ill patients the right to help in precipitating their death.
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 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.
The heartbreaking cases of both Robyn Benson and Marlise Munoz illustrate the need to defer to families and medical professionals, rather than bureaucrats and lawmakers, in making end-of-life decisions for pregnant persons.
As the House prepares to vote on the “Repeal the Puppy-Strangling Job-Vivisecting O-Commie-Care Act,” or whatever they’re calling it, the White House actually seems to have its act together on offense.