Man Wants to End Pregnant Wife's Life Support, But Texas Law Won’t Allow (Video)
Erick Munoz, a paramedic, wants to end life support for his pregnant wife Marlise Munoz, but cannot because Texas state law places the rights of her 18-week-old fetus above the pre-stated desires of Marlise.
Marlise collapsed from a pulmonary embolism on Nov. 26. Erick found her on the floor of their living room home in Tarrant County, Texas, where he performed CPR until an ambulance arrived (video below).
"They don't know how long the baby was without nutrients and oxygen," Erick told ABC News. "But I'm aware what challenges I might face ahead."
Erick claims that he and Marlise, who was also a paramedic, both decided they didn't want to be kept alive by machines before the incident.
In keeping with her wishes, he wants to turn off her life support, but doctors may keep her alive for the full term of the unborn baby.
"It's hard to reach the point where you wish your wife's body would stop," Erick told WFAA.
However, according to Texas law Section 166.049: "A person may not withdraw or withhold life-sustaining treatment under this subchapter from a pregnant patient."
Neither Erick or Marlise signed a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) form, but that would make no difference because state law overrides the DNR.
Because of the law, Erick must get a judge to grant an injunction or restraining order in order to turn off Marlise's life support machines.
The next series of tests of the fetus will be at 24 weeks, in mid-February. Family members may know then when the fetus can be removed.
Erick says he worries about the situation turning into a pro-life debate in the media.