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Saturday, December 28, 2013

FFT 12/28: The Right to Choose Life or End Life - the Case of Jahi McMath and Marlise Munoz

Photo Credit -
Food For Thought 12/28
By: Monica RW

"Whom shall determine Free Will in the cases of Life or Death? A individual, family or courts, the state and medical personnel. In America, its' time we have this conversation."  
Free will. According to a Webster's Dictionary definition Free Will means:
"The ability to choose how to act or The ability to make choices that are not controlled by fate or God." 
The Almighty in Biblical text also supported his Children right to self-determination:
"Revelation 3:20 - Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me."
Photo Credit - NY Daily News
Marlise and Erick Munoz with oldest son.
Jahi McMath's family has fought over the Holiday Season for Jahi's right to live in California. Less than 1200 miles away, Erick Munoz -- spouse of Marlise Munoz --struggles with the State of Texas to take his wife off life supportive measure.

Marlise Munoz is pregnant and clinically brain dead but remains on life support due to a
law in Texas forbidding Erick Munoz from removing his spouse from any medical measures required for keeping her alive.
"Marlise, who with her husband has a 1-year-old son, has been on life support at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth since Nov. 26, when Munoz found her collapsed on the living room floor," ABC News reported on December 23. "He (Erick) performed CPR and then called 911. She never regained consciousness and her husband says she is now "simply a shell. But the fetus still has a normal heartbeat."
Photo Credit - ABC
Marlise and Erick Munoz with oldest son
Marlise Munoz is suspected to have suffered a pulmonary embolism as diagnosed by attending physicians at Texas' John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth and is being kept alive by life supportive measures only.

Erick Munoz told WFAA-TV in Dallas, he and his wife previously discussed end-of-life measures in case one Spouse was medically unable to make such a decision but, had not officially signed formalized Do-Not-Resuscitate paperwork. 

The Texas law mandating Marlise Munoz remains on life support disregards DNR's orders if the medically injured individual is pregnant. The Lone-Star State law effectively takes the choice of Free Will away from relatives of a critically medical injured loved one and places this decision directly into the laps of Texas legislative, executive and judicial branches.
Texas Statutory Law states in part: "A person may not withdraw or withhold life-sustaining treatment under this subchapter from a pregnant patient."
In California, the family of thirteen-year-old Jahi McMath are fighting to keep their child alive.

Photo Credit -
Thirteen-year-old Jahi McMath
McMath was declared brain-dead after complications following a December 9 tonsillectomy operation at Children's Hospital in Oakland, California.

Over the last three weeks mother 
Nailah Winkfield has waged a valiant legal battle for Jahi to receive necessary life supportive measures required to keep her Child's heart beating, plus lungs moving in and out oxygen with the help of a ventilator.

Photo Credit - LA Times
The Mother of Jahi McMath, Nailah Winkfield (R)
Four medical examinations, with two of the measures independently ordered by a Court of Law in California on Winkfield demand, has declared Jahi McMath brain dead.

The McMath/Winkfield family received a temporary reprieve from Alameda Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo for Children's Hospital to keep all life supportive measures on Jahi until December 30.

Since the ruling, Jahi's family have feverishly searched for a long-term care facility in Southern which would accept Jahi in her current medical condition. Officials at Oakland's Children Hospital on December 27 changed the medical facility initial refusal to move Jahi to another location.
"Children’s Hospital will of course continue to do everything legally and ethically permissible to support the family of Jahi McMath,” the hospital said in a letter to McMath/Winkfield Family Attorney Christopher Dolan. “In that regard, Children’s will allow a lawful transfer of Jahi’s body in its current state to another location if the family can arrange such a transfer and Children's can legally do so.”
Photo Credit-Keep Jahi McMath
on Life Support Facebook Page
Nailah Winkfield & Jahi McMath
Children's Hospital personnel thus far has refused to place the medically required feeding tube and ventilator required by the long-term care facility to accept Jahi McMath.

If the stalemate continues between Oakland's Children Hospital and McMath/Winkfield Family Free Will stance to keep the child alive, California Superior Court Judge Grillo has ruled Jahi must be removed life support by 5 p.m.on Monday unless a higher Judicial court of law supersedes Justice Grillo's order.

Two cases of Free Will. One to end a life with Marlise Munoz. The other to keep live going at all costs with Jahi McMath. What has been lost discussions on both side of this debate is the Right to Choose.

The Right to Choose is born and bred in Free Will methodology. The Will of Humans to make a choice for themselves or a loved one when a relative or spouse cannot choose Life or Death.

These are and should remain personal decisions outside of the reim of public debate, analysis and scrutiny. It remains a crying shame the McMath/Winkfield Family and Erick Munoz must deal intimate tragedies at the whim of medical administrators, state laws, court systems and worse in the public domain.  

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