That's your opinion.
You're entitled to it. You're entitled to state in a living will that you want to be kept alive by machines for as long as is medically possible. You're entitled to use your right of free speech to persuade others to freely select that same option, to try and "sell" your perspective in the "public square" of unfettered discourse.
What you're not entitled to do (and I'm certainly not saying you did this, ChaosLord, but obviously someone in the state of Texas did) is to go to the State and have your opinion forced on others at gunpoint. This woman's rights, and her family's rights, are being violated right now. The State should have no say in this. Nor should activists of any political stripe, Left, Right or Center. Nor should we. This woman's body is private property.
I'm all for a person's sovereignty over their own body while alive, but in death, a corpse is considered the property of the next of kin, and the law has more room to dictate what you can do even with your property (you can't use a gun that you own to shoot wherever and whoever you please, etc.). Seeing as Mrs. Munoz is in something of a nebulous state between life and death, I don't see it as quite the black and white issue about whose wishes take precedence here, especially when what her own wishes would be are equally nebulous.
There is no living will, and hearsay evidence from friends and family indicate both a desire not to remain on life support (for an extended period of time, which raises the question of what is 'extended') but also to carry the child she was pregnant with to term. We can't establish precisely what her own wishes would be in this situation, and thus I don't think it's entirely up to the next of kin to decide what's to be done when there's potentially another party with a stake in this matter.
See, if they honor the family's wishes, then both mother and fetus will die, and what do they get out of the situation? The potential for less grief in the short run?
Whereas if we keep her alive for that extra amount of time, there's the chance that the fetus may very well develop into a happy, healthy functional member of society. Meanwhile the family may very well get over the fact that their daughter is still very much dead (or will be soon) and begin (or move on from) the grieving process anyway. Either way their emotional suffering is intangible. The potential for human life represented by the fetus is tangible.
See, I'm not trying to force my opinion on anyone, I'm trying to use logic and reason to arrive at a solution to a tangled mess of ethical and legal custom which most benefits the given parties involved. Seeing as I'm not a public official in Texas (that you know
) my arguments may not make a huge difference in the application of the law, but point is that said application of the law is not necessarily just someone forcing their opinion on someone else.
Even if it is, what is the family's wishes as to the disposal of their daughter's body but their opinion on what's best for them in the matter? The point of the law is that it intervenes where opinions between individuals come into conflict and attempts to mediate between them. Were I in a position to mediate in this case, it seems clear to me that their is a logical solution which in the long run gets both parties what they want. If the hospital waits to disconnect life support for the matter of months that it will take for the fetus to either die or be delivered, then the fetus has an even chance at life, and in less than a year the family will still get a corpse to bury.