Pregnant Texas Woman Taken Off Life Support

"Mrs. Munoz is dead," the judge ruled.

ByABC News
January 26, 2014, 5:37 PM

Jan. 26, 2014— -- A pregnant Texas woman has been removed from life support after months of legal wrangling between her family, who wanted her removed from the machines, and the hospital, which said it had a legal duty to keep her alive while her fetus was viable.

Marlise Munoz was removed from life support around 11:30 a.m. CT, according to a statement from the Munoz family attorneys.

Munoz has been on life support since a suspected pulmonary embolism rendered her brain dead in November. On Friday, a judge ordered John Peter Smith Hospital, the Texas hospital where Munoz was treated, to remove her from life support by 5 p.m. Monday.

Family of Pregnant Brain Dead Woman Sues Hospital for Keeping Her on Life Support

The hospital said in a statement earlier today that they would not appeal the judge's ruling.

"JPS has said its role was not to make nor contest law but to follow it," read the statement. "The hospital will follow the court order."

The family of Munoz had sued to get the 33-year-old paramedic off life support after she was found to be brain dead.

The family issued a statement today confirming that she had been removed from life-support.

"The Munoz and Machado families will now proceed with the somber task of laying Marlise Munoz's body to rest, and grieving over the great loss that has been suffered," read a statement from the family's attorneys.

Why Texas Fetus Might Have Had 'Abnormalities' Before Mother Was Brain Dead

Munoz was 14 weeks pregnant at the time she suffered the suspected embolism. As a result of her pregnancy, John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth said state law barred it from removing her from life support until Munoz miscarried or a baby was born.

Munoz's family said she never wanted to be on life support, and they sued to have her removed from it on Jan. 14, arguing that the law didn't apply to her because she was legally dead.

Judge R. H. Wallace Jr. agreed.

"Mrs. Munoz is dead," the judge ruled Friday.

After the ruling, Munoz's husband, Erick, stood with his lawyers as they made a statement on his behalf.

"This is the decision we sought. There is nothing happy about today. This was a sad situation all the way around," Munoz family attorney Heather King told reporters after the ruling. "We are relieved that Erick Munoz can now move forward with the process of burying his wife."

When asked for his response to the ruling an emotional Erick Munoz could barely answer "No comment."

Read about how Christmas was Munoz's favorite holiday and a confusing time for her family.

The case has sparked a heated debate about whether a woman who is medically dead should be kept on life support for the duration of her pregnancy for the sake of her fetus. Although Munoz's mother told that this is not about abortion for them, the case has also garnered attention from both sides of the abortion debate.

"It's very frustrating because we know what our daughter wanted, and we're not about to honor that because of this law," Munoz's mother, Lynne Machado told in December, before deciding to contest the law.

On Wednesday, the family's lawyers announced that the 22-week-old fetus was "distinctly abnormal," with water on the brain, a possible heart condition and lower extremity deformities.