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Texas hospital removes pregnant woman from ventilator after court order

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g1194 (Published 28 January 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g1194
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

A Texas hospital that had refused to remove a brain dead woman from a ventilator despite her family’s wishes because she was pregnant complied with a court order on 26 January and halted life support.

Marlise Muñoz, a 33 year old mother of one, had been found unconscious and without a pulse by her husband, Erick Muñoz, at their home on 26 November. It is thought that she had a pulmonary embolism. At the time she was 14 weeks pregnant.

Her husband, a paramedic, called for an ambulance and began cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Ms Muñoz was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, where …

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