There is a dead woman at John Peter Smith hospital in Fort Worth, Texas. There is a dead woman on a ventilator at John Peter Smith hospital in Fort Worth, Texas. There is a dead woman at John Peter Smith hospital in Fort Worth, Texas who is being forcibly kept on a ventilator (despite the wishes of her family) by said hospital because of a state by-law (that even the man who wrote it says is being enforced improperly) by the hospital, all the while the baby inside of the woman is being more and more deformed each day.
There we go. I figured out the best opening line possible for today’s piece.
As was mentioned above, there’s a storm brewing in North Texas right now. Marlise Munoz collapsed at home last November and was declared brain-dead by doctors at John Peter Smith hospital in Fort Worth. However, because she was in the beginning stages of pregnancy at the time of her collapse, the hospital refused to remove the tubes, citing a Texas law that makes it so life-support measures cannot be removed if there is a living fetus inside of the woman. Marlise Munoz’s husband, Erick, along with the rest of her family, have been fighting with the hospital to get the tubes removed, but the hospital has stood their ground, despite many experts, as well as the man who wrote the law, saying that said law is being improperly enforced.
The fact remains: Marlise Munoz is dead. She has no brain activity, and once brain activity ceases, there is no way for life to continue. It’s a really sad story. What makes it worse, though, is newly released information about what is happening to the fetus inside of Munoz. The fetus has developed hydrocephalus and it’s lower extremities are deformed to the point where gender is indeterminable. The fetus may also have a heart problem, and is at high risk for many other physical and mental abnormalities along the way.
This is what happens when you make a deceased woman operate as an incubator for a fetus.
Munoz isn’t taking in any nutrients herself and the “nutrition” the fetus is receiving inside the oven that used to be the baby’s mother is apparently not robust enough for basic development. The fetus is also not receiving the necessary hormones and endocrine secretions necessary for it’s body to develop. By keeping Marlise Munoz alive, the staff at John Peter Smith are blatantly violating the Hippocratic Oath. “Do no harm,” they promise before being scurried off to hospitals, offices, and emergency rooms. Yet, despite that oath (which on more than one occasion has been upheld over the letter of the law), the staff at John Peter Smith are not only desecrating a corpse, but are responsible for the afflictions the fetus is obtaining while being kept alive… in a corpse.
Does anyone else see anything wrong with that?
Also, keep in mind that Marlise Munoz is dead, meaning that she is no longer a patient at the hospital. Munoz is without brain activity, meaning that no matter what, biologically, she cannot live. The brain is the center of everything in the human body. Without the brain, nothing would function. Brain death means that there is no way for anything to work in the body. The frail shell of the human condition is without power; no batteries, no cords, to sockets, no chargers. Completely dead. Marlise Munoz is completely dead, and because she is completely dead, she can no longer be treated. <— That’s actually the law.
So, for the sake of “ethics”, the staff at John Peter Smith are still going to keep Munoz alive, despite the wishes of the family and the laws concerning when someone is “legally dead”. On top of that ethical blunder, the staff at John Peter Smith are going to keep a series of tubes and machines hooked up to a dead woman (the “corpse desecration” rant from above) so they can maintain the life of the fetus, who all the while is getting worse and worse every single day. Hydrocephaly is bad enough, but to couple the amount of brain damage that has likely been done to the child with the physical deformities in the body, the cardiovascular deformities in the fetus due to lack of oxygen and nutritional flux, and the list of abnormalities, deformities, and retardation that could likely transpire the longer this continues, then you have a cocktail of despair.
Instead of calling her death and starting the internment process (the humane way of going about this situation), there are a group of medical professionals at John Peter Smith wiping their asses with the Hippocratic Oath and appeasing a state with notoriously bigoted, perverse, and uneducated views on reproduction and sexuality. There is a group of medical personnel at John Peter Smith who have either a.) forgotten what being a doctor means, or b.) stopped giving a shit about what being a doctor means. When your idea of providing care is to violate a dead body to allow a gestating fetus an opportunity to live the life of a mentally-challenged Quazimodo with a cardiopulmonary system that’s barely functional, a skeletal system that’s probably little more than shards and daggers, a consistent level of pain for the entirety of their lives, and the face of Rocky Dennis, then I’m fairly sure your credibility in being a doctor is even less than mine: and I have never even considered the idea of being a doctor.
This case is disgusting. The course of action taken by John Peter Smith is appalling and should be subject to review and termination. Doctors are supposed to be people who save lives, not people who desecrate them for the wills of politics. If their job description meant anything to them, Marlise Munoz, and the baby, would be resting peacefully in their grave.