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Family: Brain-dead Texas woman off life support

By The Associated Press

This article was published January 26, 2014 at 2:16 p.m.

FORT WORTH — The family of a brain-dead, pregnant Texas woman said Sunday afternoon that she has been removed from life support following a judge's ruling that a Fort Worth hospital was misapplying state law in the case.

A statement sent Sunday afternoon by lawyers for the husband of Marlise Munoz says she was disconnected from life support about 11:30 a.m.

It says her body was released to her husband, Erick Munoz.

Marlise Munoz was 14 weeks pregnant when her husband found her unconscious Nov. 26, possibly due to a blood clot. Both the hospital and family agreed before judge's ruling that Marlise meets the criteria to be considered brain-dead — which means she is dead both medically and under Texas law — and that her fetus, at about 23 weeks, could not be born alive this early in pregnancy.

The case has raised questions about end-of-life care and whether a pregnant woman who is considered legally and medically dead should be kept on life support for the sake of a fetus. It also has garnered attention on both sides of the abortion debate, with anti-abortion groups arguing Munoz's fetus deserves a chance to be born.

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