May 21,2007 00:00
AUSTIN, Texas -- A toddler in Texas who had been on life support since December died of natural causes during the weekend.
Nineteen-month-old Emilio Gonzalez, who had been diagnosed with a rare condition that causes the central nervous system to deteriorate, died in his mother's arms at Children's Hospital of Austin.
The Austin American-Statesman reported that doctors had become concerned Saturday when Gonzalez's condition began to worsen rapidly.
"God chose to take Emilio at this time," said Jerri Ward, the mother's lawyer.
The child's case drew national attention over the issue of choosing when to end the life of a suffering family member. Under Texas law, doctors can decide to discontinue treatment against the family's wishes, but must give the family 10 days to move the patient to another facility. However, the American-Statesman reported, months of searching for a place to move Gonzales yielded no results.
Doctors at Children's Hospital of Austin had told the boy's mother that her son had no hope of recovery and should be allowed to peacefully die after the removal of life-sustaining practices, the newspaper reported.
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