Fort Worth hospital mulls order to remove woman from life support

Jan. 25, 2014 at 8:12 PM
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FORT WORTH, Texas, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Officials at a Texas hospital were in talks Saturday on how to respond to a court order to remove a pregnant woman from life support, a spokeswoman said.

J.R. Labbe, a spokeswoman for the JPS Health Network, said "discussions are ongoing" among John Peter Smith Hospital officials, one day after District Judge R.H. Wallace ordered the Fort Worth hospital to declare Marlise Munoz dead and remove her from life support by 5 p.m. Monday, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

"I have no additional statement at this time," Labbe said.

Wallace issued the order after the hospital acknowledged Friday a fetus gestating in Munoz's body is not viable. Her husband, Erick Munoz, and the hospital had jointly filed a document conceding the fetus was not viable "at the time of this hearing," the Dallas Morning News reported.

Marlise Munoz, 33, has been kept alive since suffering a pulmonary embolism just before Thanksgiving, when she was 14 weeks pregnant.

Hospital officials said Texas law forbids removing her from life support because it could not do so without causing "the death of an unborn child."

Erick Munoz is suing the hospital, saying it is not implementing the state law appropriately.

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