In Vegas, when nobody wins...the player and the House tie....it's called a Push. We've seen too much of this in national news lately. In Oakland, 13-year old Jahi McMath has been brain-dead since early December after complications form a routine surgery. The hospital wanted to pull the plug since she has no chance of regaining conciousness. The family fought and won the right to take her to another facility where they can hope and pray for a miracle that most likely will not come. They won the fight, but there are no winners here.
In Forth Worth, a young mother was just taken off life-support in what was a 180 from the last story. She's been brain dead since late November, and the family has begged to take her off life support but the hospital refused because she was pregnant at the time. Last Friday, a judge ruled for the family, and on Sunday, the hospital complied with the order and pulled the plug. For the record, the fetus was found to be 'not viable' before the ventilator was turned off.
In both court cases, there were winners and losers...but there really are no winners. Two young women are dead, only one is still on a ventilator.
In the Texas case, the judge's ruling could open the door to further cases. The family argued that the state law that requires hospitals to continue to give extrordinary life-saving meaures to pregnant patients did not apply to Marlisa Munoz, since she was dead, and thus, no longer a patient. The judge agreed with that logic. Even though I believe in a woman's right to choose, how far will the judge's order go? Science today CAN keep a woman 'alive' for hours or days until a fetus is viable outside the womb. So what's the cut-off point? A week? 3 weeks? Even on 'life support' a brain-dead body will start to break down eventually, so there has to be a time limit. Just one more ethics question to be answered and argued in another court-room somewhere in the very near future.
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