That's a pretty hardline stance their Iniquitous Opheliac, and I can definitely see the practical and legal reasoning behind it. I'm in full agreement that if she is brain-dead, then she is dead, and the argument that in all other natural circumstances the fetus would die with the mother is a compelling one. Your followup articles clearing up the husband's position also refutes my question regarding his status as executor. If it is his wish that the wife be taken off life support, it seems the hospital is taking the execution of the law into their own hands by forcing the issue. On the other, I can see why a hospital would want to be careful in this case, as they don't want to suddenly find themselves under state investigation for violating a law they may not be prepared to fight on legal grounds. Similarly, it's easy to see why the family wouldn't have necessarily taken legal action at this point, whatever constitutional protections they might think they have; taking on the state attorney general and legislature is not something you want to do in the heat of the moment or without preparation, and in the mean time the fetus might very well expire on it's own and make the whole issue moot.
As for the status of the fetus as alive, I won't speculate, because as you've pointed out it's difficult to quantify especially on the basis of 'potential' human life. After all, any given egg or sperm is technically, potentially a human life.
All that said, I have to wonder if in this situation there's any particular 'harm'. Who is suffering because this woman is being artificially kept alive? What makes it 'sick' or wrong when there might very well be a healthy baby brought into the world because of it?
The husband? The parents? Why should they care? As long as the cost of the procedures and delivery aren't coming out their pocket and no one is mandating they take custody of the child there's no tangible harm coming to them. You argue that given brain death the woman in question is in fact dead (a position I support) but the parents seem to be insisting that keeping her body alive is somehow prolonging her or there suffering. So what? Get over it. She's dead. Why wait on the funeral? Because you want to have an open casket? That's a religious predilection no more valid than the presumption that life begins at conception. If they're just going to cremate the body or dump it in the ground, I say "wishes of the next of kin" should indeed be damned!
There's something of a contradiction in your argument there because you're saying that the next-of-kin's personal beliefs and preferences over the disposal of corpse take precedence ahead of what could very well be a living thing (given a little time, resources, and the miracle of modern medicine), something that is predicated on slightly different set of personal beliefs held by a different group of people. How can you say one set of beliefs holds more sway over said corpse/fetus than the other? Simply by virtue of her family having closer blood ties?