It didn't seem like the story of Marlise Muñoz could get any sadder. The Texas woman—a paramedic, wife, and mother—was brain dead after a suspected blood clot, but kept hooked to life support against her and and her family's wishes because a Texas law prohibited taking a pregnant woman off of life support. Rather than being allowed to grieve, Muñoz's family was subjected to a court battle. Now, having won that awful battle, they could face staggering medical bills:

In an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Erick Muñoz acknowledged that he has been receiving medical bills at his home — although he’s not sure exactly what he will be expected to pay.

“They have not come to me and said how that’s going to work,” he told CNN. “But I believe I’ve heard several media outlets…saying that they’ve asked about that. They have asked that question. They said they would continue normal billing.”  

After ThinkProgress reached out to the John Peter Smith Hospital, a spokesperson explained that billing is part of Muñoz’s medical records, and is therefore covered under privacy laws. The hospital noted that although Eric Muñoz may say whatever he wants on the matter, its officials are not allowed to disclose details about billing unless he agrees to release his deceased wife’s medical records.

Marlise's husband, Erick Muñoz, and parents, Lynne and Ernest Machado, have been clear from the beginning that keeping Marlise hooked up to life support was against her wishes and theirs. Texas and the John Peter Smith Hospital violated those wishes, causing her family months of pain. They've had to fight to have her wishes fulfilled—they should not have to pay for the distorted, horrific sham of medical care that was forced on them.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 08:25 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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