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Hospital ordered to remove brain-dead pregnant woman off life-support by Monday

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Malise Munoz, a brain-dead pregnant woman and her family may now be able to rest in peace after Judge R.H. Wallace Jr. issued an order that John Peter Smith Hospital in Ft. Worth, TX must take her off life support by 6pm Monday.

Malise, 33 was 14 weeks pregnant with her second child, when her husband Erick discovered her lying unconscious (possibly due to a blood clot) on the floor November 26th (see http://www.examiner.com/article/texas-man-forbidden-to-remove-pregnant-w...) Yet, despite the fact that both her family and medical personnel agreed that she was dead both clinically and under Texas law, as well as recognizing the fact that the fetus could not be born alive at that point, the hospital refused to take her off life support. Instead, they continued to use her as a “dysfunctional incubator,” stated Heather King, one of two attorneys representing Mr. Munoz.

She and fellow attorney Jessica Hall Janicek have accused the hospital of “conducting a science experiment,” and warned that the action was setting a “dangerous precedent, raising the specter of special ICUs for brain-dead woman carrying infants.”

In the meantime, the hospital’s legal representative, Texas state attorney Larry Thompson told the judge that “the hospital had a legal responsibility to protect the life of the unborn fetus.” John Peter Smith Hospital also released a statement following the judge’s order saying that it “appreciated the potential impact of the consequences of the order on all parties involved, it was still considering whether to appeal the decision or not.”

Although the fetus is now 22 weeks along, it has been deemed that it would not be viable outside its mother’s body even if delivered by c-section.

Erick, a paramedic, as was Malise, has stated repeatedly that she would never have wanted life support under her circumstances. Her parents have also agreed.

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