Earlier this afternoon State District Judge R. H. Wallace (pictured above) ruled that the life support for Mrs Munoz should be switched off by 6pm ET on Monday.
It has been an emotional medcio-legal battle which begun in November when Mrs Munoz suffered what is suspected to have been a pulmonary embolism leaving her brain dead. The fetus at the time of the accident was 14 weeks gestation. Mrs Munoz’s husband, Erick Munoz, supported by his family, have maintained throughout that life support should be removed. However the John Peter Smith hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, cited state law which required them to continue life support as Mrs Munoz was pregnant.
As the case has evolved, so too has the status of the fetus. Earlier this week it emerged that the fetus was not only “distinctly abnormal” but it was also not viable.
At present it remains unclear whether the hospital will seek to appeal the ruling.
The case has become a cause célèbre over the last few weeks, illustrating the profound interplay between the medico-legal aspects of the case and wider public debates such as abortion and the right to die.