Australia: Accident victim dies as family loses battle to maintain life support

December 20, 2007 05:21


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An Australian car accident victim died Thursday after his family lost a legal battle to keep him on life support in a hospital, an official said. Paulo Melo, 29, from Darwin on Australia's north coast, slipped into a coma after suffering brain and spinal injuries in a Dec. 5 accident. His family gained a temporary injunction in the Northern Territory Supreme Court on Tuesday preventing the Royal Darwin Hospital from switching off his life support system, which had kept him alive. But a judge lifted the injunction Wednesday, describing the patient's medical condition as futile. Melo's family said his life support was removed late Wednesday but he continued to breath unaided. Police spokeswoman Katie Fowden said Melo died in hospital Thursday. Hospital officials declined to comment.

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