Posts Tagged ‘
life support ’
Wednesday, February 12th, 2014
We’re all still teary eyed at the mere mention of Marlise Munoz—a pregnant woman in Texas who was kept on life support for weeks against her family’s will until a court finally overturned a state law protecting her fetus, and allowed her family to lay her and her unborn child to rest. Now comes another tragic mommy-to-be story.
Robyn Benson—a 32-year-old Canadian woman, who was still a newlywed, married only seven months—was 22 weeks pregnant when she collapsed with a cerebral hemorrhage in December and was pronounced brain dead. But unlike Marlise’s husband who knew the fetus was not healthy, Robyn’s hubby Dylan—who first met Robyn when she was 16—wanted to keep Robyn alive in hopes of giving their unborn child a chance of surviving.
The doctors in Victoria, British Columbia, agreed and after six weeks of further gestation, Iver Cohen Benson was born on Saturday, February 8, at 28 weeks, weighing 2 pounds and 13 ounces with a patch of red hair, like his mom. The following day Robyn was taken off of life support, and later died.
Dylan announced on his Facebook page, “It is with a heavy heart but also with extreme proudness that I am posting this update. On Saturday evening, my beautiful and amazing son, Iver Cohen Benson, was born. Iver is healthy and is the cutest and most precious person I have ever met. As to be expected, it will still be a bumpy ride for he and I as he continues to grow under the care of the wonderful staff at the hospital.
On Sunday, we had to unfortunately say goodbye to the strongest and most wonderful woman I have ever met. I miss Robyn more than words can explain. I could not be more impressed with her strength, and I am so lucky to have known her. She will live on forever within Iver, and in my heart.”
Dylan later told the Vancouver Sun, “It’s the best and definitely the worst thing to ever happen to me in my life at the same time.” He is one strong man to have gone through that. All my best to Dylan and baby Iver, who will get to know his mother through the eyes of someone who truly loved her, his dad. What a hard journey they have ahead of them, but at least they have each other.
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Image of Dylan and Iver Benson via Facebook.
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Friday, January 24th, 2014
In one of the saddest pregnancy news stories ever, there is more bad news for Marlise Munoz, the pregnant woman being forced by the state of Texas to remain on life support—even though she has been declared brain dead and her family say being on life support is against her wishes. Doctors now have confirmed what family members have feared all along, that the baby Marlise is carrying is not going to be a healthy one—if it can even survive under the harsh circumstances. The fetus is at about 22 weeks gestation (it was at 14 weeks when Marlise was pronounced brain dead).
The hospital said pulling the plug would violate a Texas law that says life-sustaining support can’t be withdrawn or withheld from a pregnant person. The goal of course is to keep the baby alive. But attorneys for Marlise’s husband, Erick, have announced as part of their lawsuit to get John Peter Smith Hospital in Forth Worth to remove Marlise from life support that the pregnancy is no longer viable. The child’s lower extremities are already “deformed to the point that the child’s gender cannot be determined” and that there is “fluid build up inside the skull and possible heart problems.”
“Quite sadly, this information is not surprising due to the fact that the fetus, after being deprived of oxygen for an indeterminate length of time, is gestating within a dead and deteriorating body, as a horrified family looks on in absolute anguish, distress and sadness,” said the statement.
A hearing in the case took place today, and Judge R.H. Wallace ordered that the hospital remove life support by 5 p.m. on Jan. 27. Soon Marlise’s family will no longer have to suffer watching their once vibrant wife, daughter, mother (she and Erick also have an 16-month-old son) lying in a hospital bed unresponsive since Thanksgiving. I’m glad Marlise, her unborn baby, and her family will soon find peace. Unfortunately in this sort of case there really isn’t such a thing as a happy ending.
TELL US: Do you agree or disagree with these laws that Texas and 11 other states have that disregard a woman’s end-of-life wishes while she is pregnant?
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Monday, January 6th, 2014
A woman in Texas named Marlise Munoz suffered what doctors believe was a lung blockage just before Thanksgiving. When her husband Erick found her, she was unconscious, and the family has said a doctor declared her brain dead.
Despite Marlise’s wishes to never be kept alive on life support, and despite her family’s wishes to disconnect her from machines, the state of Texas is forcing the Munoz family to keep her on ventilators. Why? Because at the time of the tragedy, Marlise happened to be 14 weeks pregnant; and per Texas law, if a woman is pregnant, life-sustaining procedures cannot be withheld or discontinued—even if she has a living will stating that she does not want to be kept on life support. In Marlise’s case, if the fetus continues to develop and the pregnancy can be sustained, she could remain on ventilators until May.
“We are following the law of the state of Texas,” a spokesperson for the John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth told the Associated Press. “This is not a difficult decision for us. We are following the law.”
Several legal experts analyzing this case say that the hospital is actually misinterpreting the law, and that Marlise’s wishes should be followed since she is legally dead—but the North Texas hospital continues to refuse a disconnect.
I cannot imagine the grief and heartache that the Munoz family is facing at this time. Not only has her husband, Erick, lost his wife, but it’s unlikely that this pregnancy could come to term and that the fetus could develop normally with Marlise in this state. Already the father of a 14-month-old boy, Erick has said he wanted another child, but he’s concerned about the damage already done to the fetus in attempts to revive his wife, and would rather let his wife rest in peace.
The fact that the state has the right to intervene and prolong this situation is sickening, and although some might see this as a pro-choice/anti-choice issue–it’s actually an issue of human dignity and human decency. Two things that all people, including Marlise and Erick, should be afforded.
“This isn’t about pro-life or pro-choice,” Ernest Machado, Marlise’s father, tearfully told Dallas News Friday. “We want to say goodbye. We want to let them rest.”
TELL US: Did you know that Texas and eleven other states have laws that disregard a woman’s end-of-life wishes while she is pregnant? Do you agree or disagree with these laws?
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