Sunday, March 18, 2007

Toddler Forced Off Life Support - Help Needed

From (read the rest here):

Melanie Childlers, one of Andrea Clark's sisters, wrote the following disturbing message concerning Emilio Gonzales, the 16-month-old boy who is set to be taken off "life support" against his mother's wishes:

Emilio Gonzales is a sixteen month old infant at Brackenridge Children's Hospital in Austin, TX. He has been diagnosed with Leigh's disease. Leigh's disease is a genetic malady which is caused by a lack of functional mitochondrial complexes. There is NO DEFINITIVE TEST for Leigh's disease, and physicians usually diagnose it based on symptoms, alone. There are tests which can back up the diagnosis, but let me reiterate: there are no definitive tests for this disease.

A group that practices in-house at Brackenridge Children's Hospital, in Austin, TX, called The Pediatric Physicians Alliance of Central Texas, has decided that Emilio Gonzales should die. Although not all of the test results are in, and even if they were, they would not be a definitive diagnosis of Leigh's disease, Emilio Gonzales is set to have his respirator removed this Friday.

This disease is usually treated with thiamin, but these physicians decided to take him off of treatment. It was only when his lawyer, Jerri Ward, insisted that they put him back on the treatment that they did so. These children can live, and often do live, to be about six or seven years of age. This child is sixteen months old and these physicians have decided not to give him a chance at the rest of his life, despite his family's wishes to the contrary.

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