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Judge Orders Hospital to Remove Brain-Dead Pregnant Woman From Life Support

A judge ruled today that John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, will have to remove a brain-dead pregnant woman from life support by 5 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 27.

Representatives from the hospital told the court on Friday that Marlise Muñoz, who has been connected to respirators and ventilators since her collapse at home on November 28, was indeed brain dead and that her fetus is "not viable," according to CNN.

The hospital had been keeping Muñoz on life support despite her family's insistence that it was against her wishes, citing a state law that says "you cannot withhold or withdraw life-sustaining treatment for a pregnant patient," hospital spokesman J.R. Labbe told the news site.

Marlise was 14 weeks pregnant when she collapsed. The hospital was reportedly keeping her on life support until the fetus was viable, or 24 to 26 weeks. She is now 22 weeks pregnant.

Erick Muñoz, Marlise's husband, has said that his wife told him she did not want to be connected to life support. Not only that, but multiple doctors have told Erick that Marlise had no brain stem activity.

Furthermore, attorneys for Muñoz said earlier this week that the fetus growing inside Marlise was "distinctly abnormal."

The hospital, however, can appeal the decision.

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