Thursday, May 24, 2007

Emilio Gonzales- Epilogue

Little Emilio has passed, in the loving arms of his mother-- as it should be. If society can learn anything from this infant's death, it is the importance of the right to value life, all life, and leave as much as we can about end of life decisions in God's hands.
Toddler at center of Texas legal fight dies

The Associated Press
AUSTIN -- A toddler whose terminal illness started a contentious legal and ethical debate over who decides when life-sustaining treatment should cease has died. Nineteen-month-old Emilio Gonzales died in his mother's arms Saturday night at Children's Hospital of Austin, said family attorney Jerri Ward. He had been on a respirator since December."God chose to take Emilio at this time," Ward said.The family has not requested an autopsy, said Michele Gonzalez, a spokeswoman for the Seton Family of Hospitals. Children's Hospital physicians will make a final determination on the cause of death by the middle of the week, she said.

Emilio was believed to have Leigh's disease, which destroys brain functions. Doctors wanted to invoke a state law allowing them to stop life support for patients deemed medically futile after a 10-day notice. Emilio's mother, Catarina Gonzales of Lockhart, said she knew that her son would die but wanted doctors to continue care, pointing out that he smiled and turned his head when he heard voices. In April, a judge agreed to temporarily block the hospital's move to end life support.

In legal filings, Gonzales' attorney contended that the state law allowing doctors to overrule the treatment decisions of loved ones when conflicts arise is unconstitutional. A hearing had been set for May 30.The Senate approved legislation this month to give patients' families more time before ending life-sustaining treatment.

Cheryl Eckstein
Founder President
Compassionate Healthcare Network
(CHN)CHN is a not for profit organization, formed 1990. CHN - 11563 Bailey Cres., Surrey, B.C. V3V 2V4 Canada Phone - 604 582 3844 Visit us at / CHN is member of the World Federation of Doctors Who Respect Human Life (WFDWRHL) Dr. Karl Gunning, Pres..


Lisa said...

Ventilators simply replace the activity of breathing much the way a prostetic leg replaces the limb that will not function. Being on a ventilator is not painful. Death by suffication is very painful. In England, ventilators are provided and people on them live ordinary lives, work and contribute to society. Here in the US we are misinformed and told life is futile. Maybe they want all of us to blow our brains out. We do not make a good cost benefit analysis for them. Oh and some children are on ventilators for a few years, heal, and are weaned off them to never never need them again. What do you say to them? Oh we didn't want to help you we'd rather see you sufficate to death.

Future Doc Wilson said...

Its important that people be educated on how ventilators work, and how people live with them. The able-bodied world has no clue about a lot of things-- and think they would take jump off the first bridge if they developed any type of disability.

However, the mroe people are mainstreamed and A.B.'s come into contact with ven users, their families, friends, and pets at the mall, church or the store, they start to get it.

A documentary would be a good first step...just my thoughts