A Texas judge orders a Fort Worth hospital to remove a pregnant, brain dead woman from life support, possibly ending a long legal battle between the facility and the woman’s family.
The order takes effect at 5pm Monday.
Court documents show 33-year old Marlise Munoz has met the legal criteria for brain death since November 28th. The hospital continued life-support, however, citing a Texas law that requires ongoing treatment for pregnant women.
The two sides finally agreed that the fetus inside her is not viable, due to an unknown period of oxygen deprivation. That cleared the way for the judge to issue his decision.
Hospital officials may still appeal. They issued a statement saying, "JPS Health Network appreciates the potential impact of the consequences of the order on all parties involved and will be consulting with the Tarrant County District Attorney's office."
The judge did not rule on the constitutionality of a state law regarding the treatment of a pregnant patient.