JPS Hospital won't send bill to husband of brain-dead woman

Marlise Muñoz

Credit: WFAA

A Fort Worth judge ruled on January 24, 2014 that John Peter Smith Hospital should remove Marlise Muñoz from life support.




Posted on March 14, 2014 at 5:51 PM

The husband of Marlise Muñoz will not be billed for his wife's controversial 62-day hospital stay... but her insurance company will.

She was the pregnant North Texas woman who suffered a grave blood clot and was declared brain-dead late last year.

John Peter Smith Hospital said its interpretation of Texas law required doctors to keep Marlise Muñoz on life support until her unborn child might possibly be viable.

But the hospital's decision went against the wishes of husband Erick Muñoz.

A judge later ruled the law did not apply in this case, because Muñoz had been ruled brain-dead. She was then removed from treatment after more than two months.

JPS confirmed Friday it would not bill Muñoz's husband directly for expenses related to the life-support treatment, but said it does want to be paid.

"JPS Health Network is following its standard process for identifying reimbursement in the Marlise Munoz case, as it would in any patient case," the hospital said in a written statement. "We are working through Erick Muñoz’s insurance company."

It is unclear what JPS will do if insurance declines the hospital's claims.