Brain-Dead Pregnant Woman in Texas Taken Off Life Support

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Jan. 26 2014 3:08 PM

Brain-Dead Pregnant Woman in Texas Taken Off Life Support

A Texas hospital abided by a court order and removed a pregnant brain-dead woman from life support on Sunday, according to the husband’s lawyers. Marlise Muñoz, who is thought to be around 22 weeks pregnant had been kept on life support against the wishes of her husband and family. On Friday, a Texas judge had granted a request from the family that the 33-year-old woman be taken off life support and gave the hospital until 5 p.m. on Monday to comply.

The lawyers released a statement Sunday saying that Muñoz was disconnected from life support at around 11:30 a.m., reports the Associated Press.

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"The Muñoz and Machado families will now proceed with the somber task of laying Marlise Muñoz's body to rest, and grieving over the great loss that has been suffered," Heather King and Jessica Janicek, the attorneys for Erick Muñoz, said in a statement. "May Marlise Muñoz finally rest in peace, and her family find the strength to complete what has been an unbearably long and arduous journey."

Earlier John Peter Smith Hospital in Forth Worth, Texas issued a statement confirming it would follow the judge’s orders.

"The past eight weeks have been difficult for the Muñoz family, the caregivers and the entire Tarrant County community, which found itself involved in a sad situation," the statement read, according to NBC News. "JPS Health Network has followed what we believed were the demands of a state statute. From the onset, JPS has said its role was not to make nor contest law but to follow it. On Friday, a state district judge ordered the removal of life-sustaining treatment from Marlise Muñoz. The hospital will follow the court order."

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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