Eluana Englaro Autopsy Claims No Wrongdoing in Starvation, Euthanasia Death

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 11, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Eluana Englaro Autopsy Claims No Wrongdoing in Starvation, Euthanasia Death

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
February 11
, 2009

Rome, Italy (LifeNews.com) — The results of the autopsy conducted on Eluana Englaro following her euthanasia death via starvation and dehydration claim no wrongdoing. The autopsy reveals no signs of foul play even though Englaro died quickly from the withdrawal of food and water as opposed to dying over a two week process as Terri Schiavo did.

Englaro died on Monday following four days of staff at her medical center denying her nutrition she had received from a feeding tube.

The disabled woman had been in a minimally conscious state for 17 years following an automobile accident at the age of 21 and her father had won a court ruling allowing him to kill her.

Some anti-euthanasia advocates were concerned that something had been done to hasten her death faster than would have been normal. Also, Englaro’s own neurologist and medical team indicated they expected her to live for two weeks following the initial deprivation of food and water.

But preliminary results from the autopsy found that she died of a cardio-respiratory failure due to dehydration, police sources told Reuters.

Regional prosecutor Beniamino Deidda added that the cause of death was consistent with what would have been expected for a disabled patient. Deidda said the conclusions were ”not yet official” but said there was nothing to suggest the medical center staff strayed from protocol.

Toxicology tests were ordered and it will still take a couple of weeks for those to be completed.

Now that the autopsy has been completed, Deidda told Reuters that Englaro’s father will be given to him for a burial later today.

According to the ANSA Italian news agency, Englaro’s uncle said she will be buried and not cremated as had earlier been reported.

Meanwhile, Beppino Englaro, the woman’s father, told ANSA he wants to be left alone now that the legal battle is completed and Englaro is dead.

”I know very well that this has been a public issue, but at this point I want it to return as far as possible to being a private matter,” he said.

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.

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 God’s wishes." he said.

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