Brain dead woman taken off life support

CNN; WFAA; Lynne Machado
Monday, January 27, 2014 - 11:03am

A two-month battle in the courts ends and a Texas man finally has a chance to grieve. He finally won his fight to have his pregnant wife, who had been declared brain dead, taken off life support machines in accordance with her wishes, Nick Valencia reports.


More than two-months after the legal battle began, it came to an end. Marlise Munoz was removed from a ventilator on Sunday morning.

Her family didn't speak publicly, but their attorney's released this statement, "At approximately 11:30 a.m. Central time, Marlise Munoz's body was disconnected from life support and released to Mr. Munoz. The Munoz and Machado families will now proceed with the somber tasks of laying Marlise Munoz's body to rest and grieving over the great loss that has been suffered."

Marlise Munoz was 14 weeks pregnant when she suffered a brain embolism.

Her husband Erick, an EMT, found her unconscious on their kitchen floor she was rushed to the hospital, but two days later was pronounced brain dead.

The family, citing Marlise Munoz's wished that she did not want machines to keep her alive, asked doctors to remove her from the ventilator, but the hospital refused, citing a 1989 Texas law which made it illegal to remove life sustaining treatment from a pregnant woman.

The hospital's interpretation of the law led to a court battle that was finally resolved on Friday when a state district judge ruled that the law was only applicable to a living patient and ordered John Peter Smith Hospital to remove Munoz from the ventilator.

Heather King, Munoz family attorney, "This was a sad situation all the way around. We are relieved that Erik Munoz can now move forward with the process of burying his wife."

On Sunday afternoon, protestors held an impromptu memorial service for the unborn fetus, praying for the Munoz family, but condemning the court's decision,

Rick Horton, Pro-Life Activist, "We can empathize with their situation we just disagree with their decision to let the baby die needlessly, because the plug wasn't only pulled on his wife, the plug to end the life, was pulled on this innocent unborn child."

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