May 18, 2024

Brain-dead woman gives birth

A 26-year-old brain-dead Virginia woman has given birth to a healthy girl. Susan Rollin Torres died soon after the Caesarean birth. Her life support was removed at her husband’s request. She was 15 weeks pregnant when she was hospitalised for a stroke caused by a melanoma which had spread to her brain. Although she was apparently brain dead, her family kept her body alive in an effort to save the baby.

Her husband Justin made an emotional assessment of his wife’s death: “her passing is a testament to the truth that human life is a gift from God and that children are always to be fought for, even if life requires — as it did of Susan — the last full measure of devotion.”

Since 1979 there have been at least 11 cases of irreversibly brain-damaged women whose lives were prolonged so that they could give birth.

Michael Cook
Creative commons
brain death
pregnancy in PVS