Attorneys representing a pregnant, brain-dead Texas woman’s family released a statement Wednesday saying the woman’s 22-week-old fetus is “distinctly abnormal,” two days before the case heads back to court.
The Associated Press reported that, according to attorneys Jessica Janicek and Heather King, Marlise Muñoz’s fetus has suffered fluid buildup in its skull and deformed “lower extremities,” as well as an undetermined heart condition.
“Quite sadly, this information is not surprising due to the fact that the fetus, after being deprived of oxygen for an indeterminate length of time, is gestating within a dead and deteriorating body, as a horrified family looks on in absolute anguish, distress and sadness,” the statement read.
Janicek and King are representing Muñoz’s husband, Erick Munoz, in his suit against John Peter Smith Hospital. The hospital has cited a state law, the Advance Directive Act, that it says prevents it from unhooking Marlize Muñoz from life support in spite of her condition. Her husband has argued that the hospital disconnect her and release her body for burial, in accordance with her wishes.
Marlize Muñoz was 14 weeks pregnant when her husband found her unconscious in November 2013. She was later diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism and determined to be brain dead.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that the case will be heard by a state District Court judge on Friday.
[Image: “Heart monitor screen” via Shutterstock]