Eluana Englaro Dies After Four Days of Starvation in Disputed Euthanasia Death
by Steven Ertelt
February 9, 2009
Rome, Italy (LifeNews.com) — After an international debate over whether she should be subjected to a painful starvation and dehydration death, Eluana Englaro has died. The disabled woman had been in a minimally conscious state since 1992, when she was involved in an automobile accident.
Englaro’s father Beppino had won a court order to kill his daughter after fighting for a decade to do so.
Officials at the clinic that is supposed to be caring for Eluana started the process of starving her to death on Friday and gradually reduced the amount of food and water she received over the weekend.
The woman was in healthy condition, according to her neurologist, Carlo Alberto Defanti.
She has never had any diseases and has no need for antibiotics," Defanti admitted to an Italian newspaper. "[Englaro] does not have any damaged or injured internal organs. The tests performed at the hospital in Lecco, before her departure [to the center where she will be killed] were perfect.
Her death came at a time when the Italian Parliament was debating whether or not to approve an emergency measure to save her life. Premier Silvio Berlusconi and members of the cabinet signed off on it but President Giorgio Napolitano vetoed it saying it went against the court ruling.
Italian health minister Maurizio Sacconi made the announcement to members of the chamber.
Leading government officials and the Catholic Church strongly opposed forcing a euthanasia death upon Englaro and said she had a right to live.
The Vatican’s "health minister" Javier Lozano Barragan told the ANSA news agency that Englaro will now be in a better place and expressed his sadness that Englaro was forced to live without food and water for days.
"May the Lord welcome her and forgive those who led her there (to her death)," he said.
Englaro had been transferred to a new medical clinic in Udine where staff began reducing the amount of food and water given to her through her feeding tube. Today was supposed to be the first day where Englaro would be deprived fully of any nutrition.
Defanti has said in the interview he expected Englaro to live as long as two weeks — the same amount of time as the 13 days Terri Schiavo lived after her former husband subjected her to a painful starvation and dehydration death in March 2005.
Terri Schiavo’s father had written to Beppino asking him to reconsider his decision to kill his daughter.
"God gave you and I the responsibility to instill morals in our children and to keep them out of harm’s way. To starve and dehydrate your daughter is far from Gods wishes." he said.
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