Hospital: No decision on order to end life support

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Erick Munoz, center, husband of Marlise Munoz is escorted by attorneys as he walks to 96th District Court Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. A judge has ordered a Texas hospital to remove life support for a pregnant, brain-dead woman. Judge R. H. Wallace Jr. issued the ruling Friday in the case of Marlise Munoz. John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth has been keeping Munoz on life support against her family’s wishes. Munoz was 14 weeks pregnant when her husband found her unconscious Nov. 26, possibly due to a blood clot. (AP Photo/Tim Sharp)

Erick Munoz, center, husband of Marlise Munoz is escorted by attorneys as he walks to 96th District Court Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. A judge has ordered a Texas hospital to remove life support for a pregnant, brain-dead woman. Judge R. H. Wallace Jr. issued the ruling Friday in the case of Marlise Munoz. John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth has been keeping Munoz on life support against her family’s wishes. Munoz was 14 weeks pregnant when her husband found her unconscious Nov. 26, possibly due to a blood clot. (AP Photo/Tim Sharp)

Escorted through the throng of journalists by his attorneys, Erick Munoz leaves the courtroom following a judge’s ruling in his wife’s life or death case at the Tim Curry Criminal Justice Center, in Fort Worth, Texas on Friday, Jan. 24, 2014. Marlise Munoz is brain dead and on life support with his unborn child at John Peter Smith Hospital. The judge has sided with the family and ordered John Peter Smith Hospital to declare the pregnant woman dead and withdraw life support by 5 p.m. Monday. (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Tom Fox)

Erick Munoz, center, husband of Marlise Munoz is escorted by attorneys as he walks to 96th District Court Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. A judge has ordered a Texas hospital to remove life support for a pregnant, brain-dead woman. Judge R. H. Wallace Jr. issued the ruling Friday in the case of Marlise Munoz. John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth has been keeping Munoz on life support against her family’s wishes. Munoz was 14 weeks pregnant when her husband found her unconscious Nov. 26, possibly due to a blood clot. (AP Photo/Tim Sharp)

Erick Munoz, husband of Marlise Munoz, is escorted out of court by his attorney Heather L. King, right, Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. The court ruled in Munoz’s favor and to remove his brain-dead pregnant wife from life support. Judge R. H. Wallace Jr. issued the ruling in the case of Marlise Munoz. John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth has been keeping Munoz on life support against her family’s wishes. The judge gave the hospital until 5 p.m. CST Monday to remove life support. (AP Photo/Tim Sharp)

Ernest and Lynne Machado, parents of Marlise Munoz, walk to the 96th District Court Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. A judge has ordered a Texas hospital to remove life support for a pregnant, brain-dead woman. Judge R. H. Wallace Jr. issued the ruling Friday in the case of Marlise Munoz. John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth has been keeping Munoz on life support against her family’s wishes. Munoz was 14 weeks pregnant when her husband found her unconscious Nov. 26, possibly due to a blood clot. (AP Photo/Tim Sharp)

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FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Executives from a Texas hospital conferred with the county district attorney’s office Saturday to determine their next step, after a judge ordered the hospital to remove a pregnant, brain-dead woman from life support.

Officials from John Peter Smith Hospital and the Tarrant County district attorney’s office, which is representing the county-owned hospital, met to discuss Judge R. H. Wallace Jr.’s order regarding Marlise Munoz, hospital spokeswoman J.R. Labbe said. She declined to say whether a possible appeal was being discussed, but said an announcement wouldn’t come Saturday.

Both the hospital and family agree that Marlise Munoz meets the criteria to be considered brain-dead — which means she is dead both medically and under Texas law — and that her fetus could not be born alive this early in pregnancy. But the hospital says it’s obligated to protect the fetus, while Munoz’s husband, Erick Munoz, says his wife wouldn’t have wanted to be kept in this condition. His attorneys have said medical records show the fetus is “distinctly abnormal.”

Wallace sided with Erick Munoz on Friday and gave the Fort Worth hospital until 5 p.m. Monday to take Marlise Munoz off life support. She was 14 weeks pregnant with their second child when her husband found her unconscious Nov. 26, possibly due to a blood clot.

The judge’s ruling could give Erick Munoz a long-awaited chance to bury his wife and move forward to care for their son and his relatives. It would also mean the fetus would never be born.

The case has raised questions about end-of-life care and whether a pregnant woman who is considered legally and medically dead should be kept on life support for the sake of a fetus. It also has gripped attention on both sides of the abortion debate, with anti-abortion groups arguing Munoz’s fetus deserves a chance to be born. Several anti-abortion advocates attended Friday’s hearing.

Hospital officials have said they were bound by the Texas Advance Directives Act, which prohibits withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment from a pregnant patient. But in his brief ruling, Wallace said that “Mrs. Munoz is dead,” meaning that the hospital was misapplying the law. The ruling did not mention the fetus.

The hospital has not pronounced her dead and has continued to treat her over the objections of both Erick Munoz and her parents, who sat together in court Friday.

Larry Thompson, a state’s attorney representing the public hospital, told the judge Friday that the hospital recognized the

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