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Texas

Family: Brain-dead pregnant woman taken off life support

FILE - In this Friday, Jan. 3, 2014 file photo, Erick Munoz stands with an undated copy of a photograph of himself, left, with wife Marlise and their son Mateo, in Haltom City, Texas. John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, issued a statement Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014 that said the hospital it will remove life support from Marlise Munoz, following a judge’s order that it was misapplying state law to disregard her family’s wishes. The statement did not say when the hospital would pull life support. (AP Photo/The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Ron T. Ennis, File)

FILE - In this Friday, Jan. 3, 2014 file photo, Erick Munoz stands with an undated copy of a photograph of himself, left, with wife Marlise and their son Mateo, in Haltom City, Texas. John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, issued a statement Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014 that said the hospital it will remove life support from Marlise Munoz, following a judge’s order that it was misapplying state law to disregard her family’s wishes. The statement did not say when the hospital would pull life support. (AP Photo/The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Ron T. Ennis, File)

A brain-dead pregnant Texas woman’s body was removed from life support yesterday, as the hospital keeping her on machines against her family’s wishes acceded to a judge’s ruling that it was misapplying state law.

Marlise Munoz’s body soon will be buried by her husband and parents, after John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth announced it would not fight Judge R.H. Wallace’s Friday order to pronounce her dead and return her body to her family. The 23-week-old fetus she was carrying will not be born.

The hospital’s decision yesterday brings an apparent end to a case that became a touchstone for national debates about the beginning and end of life, and whether a pregnant woman who is considered legally and medically dead should be kept on life support for the sake of a fetus.

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