Attorneys are preparing legal action on behalf of the family of Marlise Machado MunozMarlise Munoz has been brain dead since December 26. Against her family’s wishes, she has been kept alive because the hospital where she was taken will not withdraw “life-sustaining treatment” from a pregnant patient. The hospital’s move is based on a Texas law that mandates such a decision. Her husband insists that she would not want to be kept alive in such a state. Now, there is proof that the fetus is “distinctly abnormal.” How long can this go on?

The family’s attorneys issued a statement about the fetus yesterday:

“Even at this early stage, the lower extremities are deformed to the extent the gender cannot be determined,” the statement says.

In addition the statement says the fetus has swelling of the brain — “hydrocephalus” — as well as a possible heart problem.

“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 from Munoz’s lawyers Heather King and Jessica Janicek read.

This is unconscionable. A family is being tormented because of a law that shouldn’t even apply here. I am against decisions being made for women, regarding a  life they are hosting in all scenarios – but this one is especially troubling. Her husband insists the law should not apply to this case because she was essentially dead when she arrived at the hospital – therefore the hospital isn’t “sustaining life” at all. You can not give “life-sustaining treatment” to someone who is dead.

That this is even a debate that the family needs to have is infuriating. This woman is gone. Her family has every right to make the decisions regarding how to dispose of her body. A corpse is essentially being kept functioning to host the body of a baby that is developing abnormally and will most definitely be born with horrific medical problems.

I can’t imagine the horror of watching your daughter and wife essentially decompose in front of you. This is criminal. This family needs peace. The state of Texas needs to do the right thing here and let the family lay their loved ones to rest.

(photo: Getty Images)