5 page essay on the marlise munoz case


· Your essay should follow the standard rules for written English that you learned in ENGL 101. Use standard formatting for citation (MLA, APA, Chicago), according to your instructor’s preference. Follow the rules for standard English Grammar and punctuation count! 

You must also demonstrate the skill of ethical reasoning by considering multiple perspectives in relation to a wide range of social, legal, civic, and moral values upheld or compromised by the position taken. You must take into account the complexity of the ethical issue. 

  Marlise Munoz Case

Marlise Munoz was declared brain-dead by JPS Hospital in 2014 who was 14-weeks pregnant at the time of the diagnosis, but her body was sustained by artificial life support because, under a Texas statute, pregnant women could not be removed from life support until the viability of the fetus was ascertained. Fetuses are not viable until 20-weeks at the earliest. Consequently, the hospital told the husband and family of Marlise that her body will would be kept functioning for another 6 weeks, despite the family’s wishes to let go and grieve. Here’s another variation: Suppose the pregnant woman is in a persistent vegetative state (PVS) but is being kept alive via a feeding tube and that the pre-viable fetus is still alive.

1.  Should the artificial life-support technology be withdrawn at the family’s request?

2.  What is the legal purpose of the Texas statute?

3.  Is the statute reasonable in particular circumstances of this case? 

4.  If that statute is not reasonable in this case, under what different circumstances might  it be considered reasonable?

5.  What do you think are the overriding values in this case? If the husband and  family’s wishes are in conflict with the “pro-life” statute, who should decide what  happens and on what basis?




  (1) you must first describe the dilemma and relevant facts of the case and explain the ethical dilemma or conflict of moral values. Rather than giving an exhaustive description of facts, highlight what you think are the most important factors from an ethical and legal standpoint. Then state your thesis or position, which is what you think should be allowed or done (abortion, adoption, continue artificial life-support, remove life-support, etc.) 

(2) In the body of your essay, provide evidence in the form of other prior similar cases with known outcomes. You must use relevant ethical language as well as accurate medical terminology. You must also make your own assumptions and moral beliefs explicit, e.g., about the purposes of medical technology, the value of prenatal life, the possibility of survival of the fetus, the involvement of the legislature in private, family-based decisions, the meaning of death, grief, and futile medical treatment, quality of life, and so forth. There are many values and perspectives to think about here; consequently, there is no single “correct” answer. However, you must craft a coherent and reasonable position in view of the relevant facts and values and argue for it. 

(3) In the body of your essay, you must also consider at least one counter-perspective or counter-argument, i.e., why some people might take a different stance on what should be done. 

(4) Lastly, your concluding paragraph should briefly summarize your argument for what would be best in the case under consideration, all things considered. You should also provide separate title page and a Works Cited page documenting any factual claims that you make about or in relation to the case. Your sources must be academic (e.g., our textbook, a peer-reviewed journal, a reputable newspaper) rather than pulled from a political or religious website from the World Wide Web.  

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