A judge in Texas has ordered doctors to remove life support for a brain-dead pregnant woman.

Erick Munoz sued John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth after officials insisted on keeping his 33-year-old wife, Marlise, on life support. Marlise has been brain dead since Thanksgiving after she suffered a blood clot. At the time, she was 14 weeks pregnant, and she is currently 22 weeks pregnant. A fetus is not considered viable until around 24-26 weeks.


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Attorneys for the Munoz family said in a statement that medical records have already determined that the fetus is “distinctly abnormal.” It reads, in part, “Even at this early stage, the lower extremities are deformed to the extent that the gender cannot be determined.”

The hospital had argued that Texas law states that doctors can’t withdraw life-sustaining treatment from pregnant women.


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Erick had argued that he and his wife, both paramedics, had many long conversations during which she told him she would never want to be on life support.

A judge has ordered that Marlise be removed from life support by no later than Monday at 5 p.m. CT.

Watch the full report above from Casey Stegall.