Marlise’s Law Would Give Pregnant Texans End-of-Life Decision Rights

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AUSTIN - It was a heartbreaking story, no matter which side you were on. Back in 2013, Marlise Muñoz had a pulmonary embolism and was declared brain dead. Her husband and parents wanted to remove life support.

"We took comfort in knowing that our family was united in this decision-making process as to honor the wishes of Marlise," her father, Ernie Machado said Thursday.

But Marlise was 14 weeks pregnant. Texas law required the hospital to keep her alive even though doctors knew the baby wouldn't survive.

"What should have been an immensely private and personal moment for our family was used as a political debate," said Lynne Machado, Marlise's mother. "The doctors weren't practicing medicine anymore. They were practicing politics."

She stayed in the hospital for more than two months until a court ordered the hospital to follow the family's wishes. On Thursday, Marlise's husband and parents were on hand in Austin to introduce Marlise's Law.

It would give pregnant women or their families the right to make end of life decisions.

"What I hope this law does is, that a family does not have to go through this, that a family does not have to know how strong their bond is by the hard times they have to endure because of a law," said Erick Muñoz, Marlise's husband.

If lawmakers agree, that will be Marlise's legacy.

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