Erick Muñoz, husband of Marlise Muñoz walks into the Tarrant County court house with attorneys in Fort Worth, Texas, USA, Jan. 24, 2014.
Larry W. Smith/EPA

Brain-dead, pregnant Texas woman taken off life support

The ordeal of Marlise Muñoz, the brain-dead, pregnant woman who was kept on life support for nearly two months because she was pregnant, is finally over.

“Our client, Erick Muñoz, has authorized us to give notice that today, at approximately 11:30 a.m. central time, in accordance with the order of the 96th District Court of Tarrant County, Texas, issued Friday, January 24, 2014, Marlise Muñoz’s body was disconnected from “life support” and released to Mr. Muñoz,” attorneys for the Muñoz family said in a statement Sunday. “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. May Marlise Muñoz finally rest in peace, and her family find the strength to complete what has been an unbearably long and arduous journey.”

John Peter Smith hospital was ordered Friday by a judge to pronounce Muñoz dead and remove her from life support before 5 p.m. CST on Monday. During Friday’s hearing, the hospital acknowledged that the fetus gestating in Muñoz’ body was not viable and that she had “met clinical criteria for brain death since Nov. 28.”

The case drew national attention because the hospital refused to adhere to what the Texas paramedic’s husband and parents said were her own wishes. The hospital argued that it was simply following state law, which says, “a person may not withdraw or withhold life-sustaining treatment…from a pregnant patient.”

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Brain-dead, pregnant Texas woman taken off life support