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Hearing in Texas case of pregnant woman on life-support set for Friday

Updated Jan. 22, 2014 at 4:13 PM

FORT WORTH, Texas, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- A hearing will be held to consider removal of a pregnant woman from life support after she was kept alive against her family's wishes, a Texas judge said.

State District Judge R.H. Wallace Jr. will hear a request from the family of Marlise Munoz Friday to have Fort Worth's John Peter Smith Hospital end medical procedures and remove her from respirators and other life support equipment, the (Fort Worth) Star-Telegram reported Wednesday.

Munoz, 33, has been hospitalized since late November after she was stricken with what doctors say was a pulmonary embolism. She was 14 weeks pregnant. The family asked that her life support be removed after doctors told them they considered Munoz brain-dead.

Hospital officials refused, citing a Texas law requiring pregnant women to be kept on life support until the fetus is viable, typically at 24 to 26 weeks.

Munoz entered her 22nd week of pregnancy Monday, the newspaper said.

Her husband, Erik Munoz, and her family sued the hospital last week, challenging the constitutionality of the law.

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