Outrageous Measures

In Texas, as a woman you can’t make choices for your body whether you’re living or deceased.  We’ve spoken about the battle for women’s rights in Texas like the abortion regulations that are being passed that violate federal laws in order to severely limit women’s access to abortions. The courts have now escalated to keeping a dead woman on life support to incubate the fetus inside her.

Malise Munoz was 14 weeks pregnant when she was found unresponsive and later declared brain dead. As her family prepared to say goodbye to her, they were told that due to a Texas statute it is illegal to disconnect life support from a pregnant woman.

Often people are confused by brain dead vs. vegetative state.  As a recent TIME article states, “Brain death is death.  It has nothing to do with being in a coma. It does not refer to a permanent vegetative state. It does not refer to being severely brain damaged. Comatose (unconscious) patients recover all the time. In fact, physicians often use medications to temporarily place a patient into a coma to aid in recovery. Vegetative patients have lost (temporarily or permanently) most of their higher brain functions. Recovery is more rare in these cases, but a lot depends upon the amount and type of injury that has been done to the brain.”[1]

Texas is not alone in superseding women’s choices even in death. 31 states have laws that allow hospitals to keep women alive against their wishes if they are pregnant.  This leaves families in bureaucratic limbo, unable to gain closure but rapidly gaining extensive medical bills.

What can you do?  See if your state is one that disregards your living will wishes and if it is, write to your state lawmakers to share your outrage.


[1] Read more: Brain Death Really Is Death | TIME.com http://ideas.time.com/2014/01/03/why-brain-death-really-is-death/#ixzz2ppBmmdNm

 

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Stephanie Grocott

I am a skilled event planner and researcher. In my role as Project Specialist, I plan national conferences, manage virtual training events, conduct research, and work on development initiatives for projects such as the MLK Day of Service and Social Innovation Fund. Read more.

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