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Hospital Will Not Charge Husband Of Brain Dead, Pregnant Woman

(credit: Munoz Family)

(credit: Munoz Family)

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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - The husband who fought for weeks to take his brain dead pregnant wife off life support will not be responsible for the bills incurred during her stay at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.

Marlise Munoz was 14 weeks pregnant when her husband, Erick, found her unconscious on November 26, possibly due to a blood clot.  Erick and Marlise’s family elected to take her off life-support, saying that she would not have wanted to be kept alive by artificial means.  The family also felt the baby was not viable due to the amount of time Marlise had been without oxygen.

However, JPS Hospital refused to allow Erick to take his wife off life-support, arguing that Texas law prohibits it from following a family directive when a pregnancy is involved.

Judge R. H. Wallace Jr. ordered on Friday, Jan. 24, to take Munoz off life support, more than eight weeks after Munoz was admitted to the hospital.  The hospital complied with the ruling two days later.

In a previous interview Erick said he had received hospital statemetnts at his home and was unsure of how much of the final bill he would have to pay.

On Friday, JPS issued the following statement regarding Marlise’s hospital bill:

“JPS Health Network is following its standard process for identifying reimbursement in the Marlise Munoz case, as it would in any patient case. We are working through Erick Munoz’s insurance company.”

According to a spokesperson, Mr. Munoz has not been and will not be billed for his wife’s hospital charges.  Furthermore, the hospital is working with his insurance company to reimburse any payments already made by the insurance.

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