I wrote about the horrible case of Marlise Munoz and how John Peter Smith Hospital took her body hostage when she died because she had been fourteen weeks pregnant. It’s just a heartbreaking case but, she was finally allowed to die last weekend, two months to the day she was found unconscious and not breathing by her husband, Erick.
But, the misery for her family continues. Because this hospital made decisions against this familiy’s wishes, fought them for two months while keeping the shell of Marlise on expensive medical telemetry, forcing them to seek out legal counsel and go through the courts and causing them incredible pain and suffering, Erick Munoz is now facing crippling medical bills. Insurance will NOT pay for the treatments that the hospital forced upon Marlise, as they do not pay for treatment on dead people. And, because the fetus was so far away from viability and with the immense amount of complications, there was zero chance of survival for either mother or fetus from day one (AND IT’S DOCUMENTED), the chances of the insurance company paying a penny is not good.
Yes, this public hospital is CHARGING Erick Munoz for the treatment they forced upon his dead wife. Treatment that he and her family rejected. And do you want to know the worst part of this? He cannot sue under Texas’malpractice laws. He will get a lousy $250k for his pains, because of the caps placed on malpractice cases. Yes, all that “tort reform” that everyone screams for is not what they think it is. But the argument against “tort reform” is for another post.
Erick Munoz was harassed by this hospital and now is being charged for it. What is sickening is that the for-profit media has not mentioned the NAME of the person who might be the reason for this drama. Neal Adams is the outside council for John Peter Smith Hospital. He is ALSO on the advisory board for the Tarrant County Right to Life Educational Association. He has been a very militant anti-choice activist since the eighties. Yet, he has remained in the shadows and the hospital has been vehement in claiming the Mr. Adams is not “representing” the hospital in court. Yeah, but they didn't say that he had recused himself from this case. And, when even the authors of the law say that the hospital was interpreting the law incorrectly, that tells me that there is some anti-choice influence happening.
My question is WHY is the for-profit media skipping around this blatant conflict of interest? Why have they not mentioned Mr. Adams and his ties to the anti-choice group? Or his anti-choice activities? Why has he not been interviewed? Why is there such a lack of interest in this part of the story? Because it seems to be the heart of why Marlise Munoz and her family was put through hell. This could have been handled quietly by simply following the SCIENCE and listening to her DOCTORS. It wasn’t an iffy case. Marlise had been without oxygen for an indeterminate amount of time. For a fetus, the amount of time without oxygen, brain damage can occur after a few minutes. Add in all the rescuitating medications and there was no hope for the fetus. I am sure that the peri-natologist on staff told the hospital board this. And, the chances of Marlise’s dead body being able to incubate a fetus that had just entered the second trimester was slim to none. Also, getting a fetus just to viability is not optimal. Survival rates of twenty-four week preemies are not great. If they do live (which is a fifty percent chance), the chances of them surviving without major disabilities are very low. Thirty weeks is the goal line. Then the numbers increase to a ninety-five percent survival rate with pretty good neurological odds. The odds of this fetus surviving was so improbable that the odds were better of Marlise’s body getting up and dancing a jig. And I am pretty damn sure that the neo-natologist on staff told the board that, along with the neurologist on staff.
So, with all this information presented to them (and I am pretty damn sure that it was and it’s documented), why would the board choose to ignore it and focus on a sentence in the law? (that even the authors have said is not applicable to this case) Who would focus on this so adamantly? Who on that board? Would it be THEIR LAWYER? I think that this PUBLIC HOSPITAL owes the public an explanation for their behaviors, beyond the bland one they have been passing.
In the mean time, Erick Munoz is in desperate need of help. He has a young son at home without a mother and is grieving. He’s been put through the wringer. And, now, he is facing a mountain of medical bills. If you could help, please, please……To donate to a fund for Munoz medical bills, set up by the Crowley Professional Firefighters Association, donors may go to any Wells Fargo location and reference the Erick and Mateo Munoz fund.