Judge deliberating whether pregnant, brain-dead Texas woman can be removed from life support

1/24/2014
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Brain-Dead-Pregnancy

Erick Munoz stands with an undated copy of a photograph of himself, left, with wife Marlise and their son Mateo, in Haltom City, Texas.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Erick Munoz stands with an undated copy of a photograph of himself, left, with wife Marlise and their son Mateo, in Haltom City, Texas.
Erick Munoz stands with an undated copy of a photograph of himself, left, with wife Marlise and their son Mateo, in Haltom City, Texas.

FORT WORTH, Texas — A judge is deliberating whether a pregnant, brain-dead Texas woman can be taken off of life support.

Judge R. H. Wallace Jr. on Friday heard arguments from attorneys for both the family of Marlise Munoz and John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.

The hospital is keeping Munoz on life support even though she was considered brain dead two months ago. The family wants her taken off.

Heather King, attorney for Erick Munoz, argued that whenever a pregnant woman dies, if the fetus is not viable, the fetus is considered dead. King says that to keep Marlise Munoz alive would set a dangerous precedent.

Larry M. Thompson, attorney for the hospital, says while the hospital recognizes the family’s pain, it must protect life of the unborn child.