Source AP ©

Terminally ill boy, who caused debates, dies

A 19-month-old Texas boy whose terminal illness started a legal and ethical debate over who decides when life-sustaining treatment should cease has died.

Emilio Gonzales died in his mother's arms Saturday night at Children's Hospital of Austin, family attorney Jerri Ward said.

"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 told The Associated Press.

Emilio, who had been on a respirator since December, was believed to have Leigh's disease, a progressive illness which destroys brain functions. His mother had fought in court to continue his medical care while doctors, saying there was no hope of recovery, sought to remove him from the machines keeping him alive.

Doctors wanted to invoke a state law allowing the hospital to stop life support after a 10-day notice for patients deemed medically futile.

Emilio's mother, Catarina Gonzales, said she knew her son would die but wanted doctors to continue care, pointing out that he smiled and turned his head when he heard voices. Her lawyer argued the state law was unconstitutional. In April, a judge agreed to temporarily block the hospital's move to end life support.

"We mourn the death of Emilio Gonzales," Michael Regier, senior vice president of legal services for the Seton Family of Hospitals, said in a statement. "We pray that in the days and weeks to come, Emilio's mother and family will be comforted by God's loving presence and by the knowledge that Emilio's earthly suffering is now ended."

The state Senate approved legislation this month to change the law and give patients' families more time before ending life-sustaining treatment.

Comments
Iran's next moves on nuclear deal much more important - Kremlin
Why Putin should say nothing when USA and Germany fight over Russian natural gas
Why Putin should say nothing when USA and Germany fight over Russian natural gas
Iran's next moves on nuclear deal much more important - Kremlin
Iran's next moves on nuclear deal much more important - Kremlin
Putin must sue UK because of Skripal case lies
Why Putin should say nothing when USA and Germany fight over Russian natural gas
Foreign Ministry official explains why Russia had to sell Alaska to US
Foreign Ministry official explains why Russia had to sell Alaska to US
Iran's next moves on nuclear deal much more important - Kremlin
Iran's next moves on nuclear deal much more important - Kremlin
Iran's next moves on nuclear deal much more important - Kremlin
Iran's next moves on nuclear deal much more important - Kremlin
The Royal Wedding and the Silly Season
The Royal Wedding and the Silly Season
Kremlin wants foreign invaders out of Syria
Amnesty International wants world leaders to ignore World Cup 2018 in Russia
Iran's next moves on nuclear deal much more important - Kremlin
Kremlin on failed nuclear missile tests: 'Listen to President Putin and believe him!'
Kremlin on failed nuclear missile tests: 'Listen to President Putin and believe him!'
Iran's next moves on nuclear deal much more important - Kremlin