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Ethicists Criticize the Treatment of Brain-Dead Patients

(RNS) The cases of two young women — a California teen and a pregnant Texas mother — have generated sympathy for their families, but also have left some doctors and bioethicists upset about their treatment.

Many doctors are questioning continued medical procedures on a 13-year-old girl declared brain-dead nearly a month ago, calling interventions to provide nutrition to a dead body wrong and unethical.

Many people around the country also have questioned the decision of a Texas hospital to refuse to remove a pregnant woman from a ventilator, although her husband says she is brain dead. Her husband has asked for his wife to be taken off a breathing machine. The hospital, John Peter Smith Hospital in Forth Worth, has not commented publicly on her condition.

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