JPS Hospital Will Not Send A Bill For Treatment Of Marlise Muñoz | KERA News

JPS Hospital Will Not Send A Bill For Treatment Of Marlise Muñoz

Mar 14, 2014

According to WFAA, the husband of Marlise Muñoz will not be billed for his wife’s two month stay at JPS Hospital in Fort Worth. Marlise Muñoz, the North Texas woman who was brain dead and pregnant, stayed at JPS Hospital for 62 days, against the wishes of her family. 

Original story: The months-long saga began Thanksgiving week, when Marlise Muñoz collapsed at her home in Haltom City. When her husband found her, she wasn’t breathing. Erick, a paramedic, resuscitated her and called 911.

Two days later, she was brain dead.

When Muñoz collapsed, she was 14 weeks pregnant, and already the mother of a toddler, Mateo.

Like her husband, Marlise Muñoz was in the business of saving lives. She, too, was a paramedic.

Erick Muñoz said the two had discussed what to do if either fell into a vegetative state. Marlise, he said, was clear she would want to be removed from life support.

And that might have happened – if it weren’t for the fact that Marlise Muñoz was pregnant.

John Peter Smith hospital in Fort Worth refused to disconnect Muñoz from a ventilator and other machines, saying it was following a Texas law preventing the removal of a pregnant patient from life-sustaining treatment.

At a court hearing on Friday, the attorney for JPS told a judge the hospital had a legal responsibility to protect the fetus.

Attorneys for the Muñoz family accused the hospital of conducting a science experiment.

During the hearing, Erick Muñoz was in tears. In his affidavit, he describes the pain of visiting his wife.

“When I bend down to kiss her forehead, her usual scent is gone, replaced instead by with what I can only describe as the smell of death,” he said in the affidavit.

District Judge R.H. Wallace sided with the family, and ordered Marlise Muñoz to be removed from life support by 5 p.m. Monday.

The hospital released a statement Sunday saying it would comply with the court’s order.

Later, attorneys for the Muñoz family released their own statement, saying the family can complete “an unbearably long and arduous journey.”