Sunday, April 29, 2007

Bishop weighs in on debate over care of dying Texas boy]
AUSTIN, Texas (CNS) -- Citing difficult decisions in his own familyand the example of Pope John Paul II, Bishop Gregory M. Aymond ofAustin said Catholic teaching would permit the withdrawal ofextraordinary medical treatment for Emilio Gonzales, a dying17-month-old boy at Children's Hospital of Austin. Catarina Gonzales,the boy's mother, has been fighting for continued medical treatment ofher son at the hospital, which is part of the Seton Family ofHospitals, a 31-facility Catholic health system in central Texas. Theboy's physicians and other hospital officials have recommended thatthe child be removed from a respirator and given only "comfort care."Emilio, who has been blind and deaf since birth and was admitted tothe hospital Dec. 27 with a collapsed lung, has been diagnosed withLeigh's disease, a rare disorder that is causing his central nervoussystem to break down. The disease is considered incurable. "I cannotimagine the pain that Catarina experiences as she faces these terriblequestions that no mother wants to face," Bishop Aymond said in anApril 15 statement.