Don't force Marlise Munoz' family to pay for costs of maintaining life support
  • Petitioning Robert Earley

This petition will be delivered to:

Pesident, JPS Health Network
Robert Earley
Vice President for Communications/Community Affairs, JPS Health Network
J. R. Labbe

Don't force Marlise Munoz' family to pay for costs of maintaining life support

    1. Darrell Lucus
    2. Petition by

      Darrell Lucus

      Charlotte, NC

On November 26, 2013; Marlise Munoz collapsed at her home in Haltom City, Texas and was rushed to John Peter Smith Hospital (JPS) in Fort Worth.  She was only kept alive via a ventilator and other life support equipment.  When it was apparent that she would not regain consciousness, her husband Erick requested that life support be terminated.  However, the hospital refused, saying that since Marlise was pregnant, section 166 of the Texas Health and Safety Code required life support to be maintained until it could be determined that the baby could survive.

Erick Munoz sued JPS on January 14, claiming that doctors had told him Marlise was brain dead.  Therefore, Erick contended, under section 671 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, Marlise was legally dead.  He contended that JPS had badly misinterpreted the section of the Texas Health and Safety Code that supposedly required life support to continue for Marlise, since it did not apply to a dead person.

Prior to a hearing before District Judge R. H. Wallace, Jr., lawyers for Erick Munoz and JPS filed a document stating, among other things, that Marlise had been brain dead on November 28.  Partly due to this concession by JPS, Wallace ruled in favor of Erick Munoz and ordered that all life support for Marlise end. 

Regardless of how and when the legal battle in this case ends, the Munoz family's most immediate concern is the cost of keeping Marlise on life support for almost two months.  Given that JPS has formally admitted that Marlise was brain dead on November 28, there is no defensible reason to make the Munoz family pay for maintaining life support.  In the name of basic decency, the Munoz family should not have to bear any financial responsibility for what JPS has tacitly admitted is futile treatment.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 1,000 signatures
    2. Hospital noncommittal on whether Munozes will have to pay

      Darrell Lucus
      Petition Organizer

      According to a JPS spokeswoman, they think it's inappropriate to comment on who will pay now, but "at the appropriate time, the finance department will pursue the customary avenues to identify payers and reimbursement." Hard to believe there's even a debate about this.

      Texas Woman Is Taken Off Life Support After Order

      HOUSTON - A Fort Worth hospital that kept a pregnant, brain-dead woman on life support for two months, followed a judge's order on Sunday and removed her from the machines, ending her family's legal fight to have her pronounced dead and to challenge a Texas law that prohibits medical officials from cutting off life support to a pregnant woman.

    3. Reached 100 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Susan Williams DOUGLASVILLE, GA
      • 4 months ago

      Texas Law sucks!

    • Karen Williams DALLAS, TX
      • 5 months ago

      As a Texan and a woman, this story horrified me. I live not far from Fort Worth, and to think something similar could happen to me or a loved one incensed me! DO NOT make that family pay for inanity! The HOSPITAL insisted on the life support, the HOSPITAL can eat that bill.

    • Brian Akiona MILILANI, HI
      • 5 months ago

      So Sorry for your loss Mr. Munoz, but I believe you have a good claim to file a Lawsuit at common law court against the hospital. You have been wronged.

    • tom cramer WATERTOWN, WI
      • 5 months ago

      when a person is gone let them go I certainly don't want to go if there is no hope,especialy at their expense

    • Lynda Claypool YAMHILL, OR
      • 5 months ago

      This was wrong from 11/28. Don't perpetuate the wrong.


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