John Peter Smith Hospital
John Peter Smith Hospital (also known as JPS Hospital) is a Level 1 trauma center, 547-bed county-owned hospital located in Fort Worth, Texas. It is part of the publicly funded JPS Health Network of the Tarrant County Hospital District.
The hospital is named after John Peter Smith, a former mayor of Fort Worth. JPS is home to ACGME and AOA accredited residency programs including a Family Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Radiology, Psychiatry, Orthopedics, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Podiatry, and Transitional Year. It also is the main teaching hospital for the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine at the University of North Texas Health Science Center. In addition, the hospital supports the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center oral/maxillofacial residency and Baylor University Medical Center general surgery residency programs. In June 2011, the hospital welcomed its first batch of emergency medicine residents.
Brain Death Controversy
Marlise Munoz was 14 weeks pregnant when her husband found her unconscious in November 2013, possibly from a pulmonary embolism. She was subsequently declared brain dead after her arrival at JPS Hospital. Munoz had previously indicated to her husband that she would not like to be kept artificially alive if brain dead. The fetus had suffered from oxygen deprivation and was suspected to be non-viable. Fetus' lower extremities were deformed to the extent that the gender couldn't be determined. Fetus also had fluid building up inside the skull (Hydrocephalus) and possibly had a heart problem. A 2002 study estimated the cost for an ICU bed in an average U.S. hospital is $2,000 to $3,000 per day.
When her husband asked that life support be removed, JPS officials refused, citing a state law requiring that a pregnant woman remain on life support - regardless of her end-of-life wishes - until the fetus is viable, usually at 24 to 26 weeks. Officials feared that if they turn off the machines, the Tarrant County District Attorney Joe Shannon Jr.'s office would charge them with murder of the fetus. The assistant district attorney insisted that the state had a compelling interest in protecting a fetus, pointing to a section of the Texas Penal Code that stated that a person may commit criminal homicide by causing the death of a fetus and a recently passed bill that banned abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy on the theory that a fetus was capable of feeling pain at that stage. An attorney who had helped rewrite the Texas state law being used to keep her body on life support at John Peter Smith Hospital said that there was a problem with the application of the law to a patient that was no longer alive. The Texas law itself, passed in 1989 and amended in 1999, provides lawyers for each side with little guidance. The relevant section of the Texas Health and Safety Code is a single sentence, reading, “A person may not withdraw or withhold life-sustaining treatment under this subchapter from a pregnant patient.”
Her husband Eric, with the support of her family, successfully sued the hospital for withdrawing treatment. On January 24, 2014 a state judge issued an order giving JPS three days "to pronounce Mrs. Munoz dead and remove the ventilator and all other 'life-sustaining' treatment from the body." On January 26 JPS issued the following statement: “The past eight weeks have been difficult for the Munoz family, the caregivers and the entire Tarrant County community, which found itself involved in a sad situation. JPS Health Network has followed what we believed were the demands of a state statute. From the onset, JPS has said its role was not to make nor contest law but to follow it. On Friday, a state district judge ordered the removal of life-sustaining treatment from Marlise Munoz. The hospital will follow the court order.” At about the same time the statement was issued, Munoz's body was removed from life support and released to her husband.
- JPS Residency Programs Page
- Dart, Tom (24 January 2014). "Texas hospital acknowledges brain-dead status of pregnant woman". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
- Luscombe, Belinda. "Why the Dad Has No Say in Tragic Texas Brain Death Case". Time. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
- Denson, Ryan. "‘Pro-Life’ Conservatives Using Government to Force Brain-Dead Woman’s Pregnancy". occupydemocrats.com. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
- Bazelon, Emily. "Brain-Dead Marlise Munoz’s Fetus Is “Distinctly Abnormal.” Please, Texas, Let This Nightmare End". Slate.com. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
- "Brain-dead Tarrant woman's fetus is 'distinctly abnormal,' attorneys say". The Associated Press/ The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
- JOHN M. LUCE, GORDON D. RUBENFELD (2002). "Can Health Care Costs Be Reduced by Limiting Intensive Care at the End of Life?". American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 165 (6): 750-754. doi:10.1164/ajrccm.165.6.2109045. PMID 11897638. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
- Brain-dead Texas woman taken off life support
- Fetus in Muñoz case is “distinctly abnormal,” attorneys say
- HANKINS, LAMAR (15 January 2014). "Freethought San Marcos: Religion corrupts advance directives and medical care". San Marcos Mercury. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
- Texas Hospital Takes Pregnant Woman Off Life Support
- Max B. Baker and Elizabeth Campbell. "Texas law didn’t anticipate Muñoz case, drafters say". star telegram. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
- Texas Hospital Takes Pregnant Woman Off Life Support
- "Family cries as judge rules Munoz off life support". USA Today. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
- Texas judge declares pregnant woman dead, orders life support removed
- JPS says it will comply with order on pregnant, brain-dead woman
- Life support removed from pregnant, brain-dead woman
- "Explaining Hospice Care". HealthLine 3. 2010-27-7. KTBS-TV. KTBS 3. http://www.ktbs.com/healthline-3-north-caddo-medical-center/index/index.html. Retrieved 2011-02-23.
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