[Today’s guest post is by Rachel Cox and is part of our paid blogging program.]
Have you heard about the Texas husband who wants to remove his pregnant wife from life support?
In November, Erick Munoz’s wife Marlise, who was 14 weeks pregnant, suffered a blood clot and is still in the hospital hooked up to machines. Doctors say she is brain dead and will never recover. Erick Munoz believes the baby will have defects and the baby’s life won’t be worth living. Her husband says his wife clearly stated she never wanted to be on life support. Erick Munoz wants to “honor his wife’s wishes” and remove her from life support which would kill her and their unborn baby. However, Texas law prevents the removal of a pregnant woman from life support and Erick Munoz is publicly voicing his opposition.
After reading the comments section of this article on the story, I found myself in a very small minority of those who disagree with Erick Munoz’s desire to have his wife and unborn child taken off of life support, for several reasons.
First, when Marlise Munoz told her husband she never wanted to be on life support, did she think about the possibility that she may be pregnant when it happened? Did she consider that if kept alive, her unborn child may be able to survive? I’m going to guess she probably didn’t think about that, and I’m also going to guess that if she knew being kept alive now would give her child a chance at life, she would be willing to stay on life support at least long enough for the baby to be delivered. I know it must pain Erick Munoz to see his wife hooked up to a bunch of tubes, but I can’t figure out why on earth he would value his wife’s wishes more than the life of his baby.
Another issue I take with Mr. Munoz’s logic is his belief the baby will be born with problems due to the lack of oxygen it experienced when the mother’s oxygen flow was cut off. That definitely is a possibility, but it is not a certainty. Mr. Munoz said he knows the baby will have medical problems because he is a paramedic. However, doctors have said the child is too young to be able to tell at this point. I don’t understand why Mr. Munoz believes his experience as a paramedic makes him more qualified to predict the outcome of his child’s medical situation than a doctor. Besides, other cases similar to this one have resulted in healthy babies being delivered. Of course a child born with disabilities is no less a person than a healthy child, but that’s a whole separate topic that I won’t get into right now.
Why is this father trying to find all the reasons why his wife and unborn child should be removed from life support and left to die, and not the reasons why they shouldn’t? I find it very frustrating and disheartening that Erick Munoz thinks this way and also frightening that so many people actually agree with him. I believe these hopeless, negative attitudes about the Munoz family’s situation are caused mainly by one thing: abortion. Abortion causes society to devalue human beings. When the abortion industry, media, and politicians pound in our heads over and over that unborn babies are blobs of disposable tissue, it’s easier to see why someone would not be motivated to preserve the life of their “clump of cells.”
At least we can rejoice in the fact that Texas has a law which prevents misguided, emotionally distraught people from making this kind of horrible, irreversible choice. If only every state protected all stages of life in every situation.