Now the family of Marlise Muñoz will mourn.
Brain dead and pregnant, Muñoz, 33, spent two months on life support against the wishes of her husband and family.
Sunday, that ended.
She was believed to be about 23 weeks pregnant, and officials at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth had said they were required by law to protect the fetus. But Sunday morning, she was taken off her ventilator.
State District Judge R.H. Wallace had ruled Friday that Muñoz "is deceased" and therefore not subject to a state law that prohibits withdrawal of treatment from a pregnant woman. The judge gave the hospital until 5 p.m. Monday to remove her from life support.
"The Muñoz and Machado families will now proceed with the somber task of laying Marlise Muñoz's body to rest, and grieving over the great loss that has been suffered," Heather King and Jessica Janicek, attorneys for Marlise's husband, Erick Muñoz, said in a written statement. "May Marlise Muñoz finally rest in peace, and her family find the strength to complete what has been an unbearably long and arduous journey."
The hospital issued a statement earlier Sunday saying it had kept Muñoz on life support to follow "the demands of a state statute" but had decided to abide by the court order.
"The past eight weeks have been difficult for the Muñoz family, the caregivers and the entire Tarrant County community, which found itself involved in a sad situation," JPS Health Network said in an e-mailed statement Sunday. "From the onset, JPS has said its role was not to make nor contest law but to follow it."
The case 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 gripped attention on both sides of the abortion debate as opponents of abortion argued that Muñoz's fetus deserved a chance to be born.
Her husband found her unconscious on Nov. 26, possibly because of a blood clot. He has said she told him that if she ever was in her present condition, she did not want to be kept alive.
The couple have a son.
The hospital and the family agreed that Marlise Muñoz met the criteria to be considered brain-dead -- meaning she was dead under Texas law -- and that the fetus could not be born alive at the current stage of pregnancy. Muñoz's attorneys have said medical records show the fetus is "distinctly abnormal."