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Brain-Dead Woman's Husband Named Unborn Child

<p>Erick Munoz chose a name for the second child he knew he would never meet.</p><p></p><p></p><p></p>
Erick and Marlise Munoz hold their son, Mateo.
Erick and Marlise Munoz hold their son, Mateo.Courtesy KC Studios Photography

Aware that he would never get to meet her, the husband of a pregnant, brain-dead woman nonetheless named their unborn child before his wife was taken off life support Sunday.

Nicole was the name chosen by Erick Munoz for the 23-week-old fetus that would have been his second child with wife Marlise, he told the Associated Press. Their first child, Mateo, is 15-months-old.

"They think it was a female," Munoz added, saying that doctors at the John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth had indicated to him that the fetus would likely have been a girl, although his attorneys previously said the unborn baby suffered from lower body deformation that made it impossible to determine a gender.

Marlise Munoz was 14 weeks pregnant when she was rushed to hospital after suffering what her husband believes was a pulmonary embolism.

Both the hospital and Erick’s attorneys, agreed the fetus could not have been born alive that early in the pregnancy.

As Texas law states that life-sustaining treatment cannot be withdrawn or withheld from a pregnant patient, despite a "do not resuscitate" request from the patient or a request from the family and the hospital declined to remove life support.

Munoz battled the decision in court, insisting that he had discussed end-of-life issues with his wife and they did not want to be kept alive by machines and on Friday, Tarrant County District Judge R.H. Wallace gave the hospital until 5 p.m. ET on Monday to disconnect Munoz, 33, from her ventilator.

They complied yesterday and her body was released to Erick, a statement from the family attorneys said Sunday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.