Eluana Englaro Moved to New Medical Center, Could Die in Euthanasia Death

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 3, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Eluana Englaro Moved to New Medical Center, Could Die in Euthanasia Death

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
February 3
, 2009

Rome, Italy (LifeNews.com) — Eluana Englaro has been moved to a new medical facility that may honor her father’s wishes, granted in court, to have her killed. In November, the highest court in Italy granted Englaro’s father the right to kill her via euthanasia by removing her feeding tube.

Since the decision, there has been a national debate over how that would take place as medical centers and regional governments in Italy refused to allow him to take her life.

Now, the disabled 37-year-old woman has been moved to the La Quiete clinic at Udine in the northeastern part of the nation. It’s a move that her father Beppino described as the “first step towards the liberation” of his daughter.

A group of pro-life advocates tried to prevent moving Englaro by standing and sitting in front of the ambulance leaving the clinic near Milan where she has been since an automobile accident left her in a coma in 1992.

They shouted “Eluana is living – don’t kill her.”

Because the Italian government has condemned the move and opposed Englaro’s euthanasia death, the doctors who are now reportedly overseeing Eluana have formed an association to fight any legal charges that may be brought if they kill her.

Welfare Minister Maurizio Sacconi said the government was investigating the transfer.

Some Italian news reports say the doctors will begin the steps needed to remove her feeding tube and foster her death within days.

Amato De Monte, the anesthetist who accompanied Eluana in the ambulance has come under fire for comments he made to the RAI state television network saying that, "Eluana will not suffer because Eluana died 17 years ago."

In response to the battle, some lawmakers in the Italian Parliament are calling for the government to step up protections for people like Eluana who may have their lives ended against their will.

Rocco Buttiglione from the Union of the Centre said: “The Prime Minister must convene the council of ministers straightaway to pass a law protecting disabled people’s right to life.”

The Englaro case has drawn comparisons in Italy with that of Terri Schiavo, the American woman whose husband won a court order to take her life. Michael Schiavo eventually subjected Terri to a painful 13-day starvation and dehydration death.

Human Life International, Rome, says Ms Englaro’s death would lead to more such killings in Italy. Monsignor Ignacio Barreiro said, "We are not fighting for Eluana’s life because she has limited signs of consciousness but because of her dignity as a human being."

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