A Time to Be Born and a Time to Die: Pregnancy and End-of-Life Care

By Eddy R. Smith

Cite: Eddy R. Smith, A Time to Be Born and a Time to Die: Pregnancy and End-of-Life Care, TENN. BAR J., April 2014, at Page 28.

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die …”

— Ecclesiastes 3:1-2

Two recent heart-wrenching news stories highlight the struggle between a woman’s constitutional right to refuse medical treatment and the state’s legitimate interest in protecting the life of her baby. The stories also serve as reminders of the importance of advance directives.

On Nov. 26, 2013, Marlise Munoz, a Texas woman 14 weeks pregnant, fell unconscious, did not breathe for one hour prior to being placed on a ventilator, and soon thereafter was declared brain dead.[1] It appeared that her baby had been deprived of oxygen and would not develop normally. Munoz had no written advance directive or living will, but her husband, Erick, who like Mrs. Munoz was a paramedic, asserted that she had made very clear to him that she did not want to be on life support.

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Donald Farinato to present seminar “Wills and Estate Planning for Everyone”

On March 7, 2014, Donald Farinato will be a speaker at the Community Law School.  Donald is presenting a seminar entitled “Wills and Estate Planning for Everyone.”  Donald will speak about estate planning and incapacity documents and also provide an overview of the probate process.

This event is free and open to the public and offered through the Knoxville Bar Association’s Community Law School.  The seminar takes place from 9:00 a.m. until 10:45 a.m. at the John T. O’Connor Senior Citizen’s Center, located at 611 Winona Street in Knoxville.  For further information or to preregister, visit the Knoxville Bar Association website at www.knoxbar.org or call 865-522-6522.

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New Legal Handbook for Seniors

The Tennessee Bar Association has released the 2014 edition of The Legal Handbook for Tennessee Seniors, available online at http://www.tba.org/sites/default/files/TBA-The_Legal_Handbook_for_TN_Seniors-February_24-2014.pdf.  The Handbook, originally published in 2001, has been updated by TBA’s Public Education Committee.  The following is from a release by Legal Aid of East Tennessee:

“Older adults often don’t realize that there are legal services and programs available to help them. The updated Handbook contains practical information on a wide range of topics, including issues such as applying for Social Security benefits, long-term care considerations and estate planning, as well as completely new sections addressing online security and new health care legislation. An updated list of resources relevant for Tennessee Seniors is also included.”

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Attorney Andi Campbell joins HPS

We are very happy to announce that lawyer Andi Campbell has joined our practice.

Andi is a Knoxville native and comes to us after completing her Master of Laws in Taxation from Georgetown University Law Center.  We look forward to clients and professionals getting to know and working with Andi.  Read more about Andi here.

 

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Tennessee Secretary of State Warns of Scam Directed at Businesses and Nonprofits

The Tennessee Secretary of State issued this warning regarding a scam directed at businesses and nonprofits.  Entities are receiving official-looking notices from “Annual Business Services,” claiming that the entity must submit a form and pay $125 to register.   However, Annual Business Services is not affiliated with the Secretary of State’s office and there is no state law requiring registration with that entity.

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