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Texas hospital says no decision yet on order to end life support

FORT WORTH, Texas — Executives from a Texas hospital conferred with the county district attorney's office Saturday to determine their next step, after a judge ordered the hospital to remove a pregnant, brain-dead woman from life support.

Officials from John Peter Smith Hospital and the Tarrant County district attorney's office, which is representing the county-owned hospital, met to discuss Judge R.H. Wallace Jr.'s order regarding Marlise Munoz, hospital spokeswoman J.R. Labbe said. She declined to say whether a possible appeal was being discussed, but said an announcement wouldn't come Saturday.

Both the hospital and family agree that Marlise Munoz meets the criteria to be considered brain-dead — which means she is dead both medically and under Texas law — and that her fetus could not be born alive this early in pregnancy. But the hospital says it's obligated to protect the fetus, while Munoz's husband, Erick Munoz, says his wife wouldn't have wanted to be kept in this condition. His attorneys have said medical records show the fetus is "distinctly abnormal."

Wallace sided with Erick Munoz on Friday and gave the Fort Worth hospital until 5 p.m. Monday to take Marlise Munoz off life support. She was 14 weeks pregnant with their second child when her husband found her unconscious Nov. 26, possibly due to a blood clot.

Texas hospital says no decision yet on order to end life support 01/25/14 [Last modified: Saturday, January 25, 2014 11:44pm]
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