Eluana Englaro Buried in Catholic Funeral Today, Doctors Group Condemns Death

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 12, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Eluana Englaro Buried in Catholic Funeral Today, Doctors Group Condemns Death

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
February 12
, 2009

Rome, Italy (LifeNews.com) — Eluana Englaro, the disabled woman who was killed via a starvation and dehydration euthanasia death on Monday, will receive a Catholic burial today. Meanwhile, a Catholic doctors’ group is condemning her death saying that her father was wrong to seek a court ruling to kill her.

Englaro will be buried today in a Christian ceremony despite the wishes of her father. Beppino Englaro had originally wanted Eluana cremated but he gave in to the wishes of other family members.

Beppino was not a believer and his daughter’s suffering reinforced his lack of faith, but the London Times indicates other members of Elunana’s family, including her uncle Armando, wanted a religious ceremony.

The ceremony will be held Thursday afternoon at a church in Paluzza but Beppino told the Times that neither he nor his wife will attend.

In the meantime, the Udine branch of the Italian Medical Association will hold a hearing today to determine if any members of Englaro’s medical team should be subjected to disciplinary hearings for participating in a euthanasia, which is technically illegal in Italy.

Similar hearings in 2006 regarding the euthanasia death of Piergiorgio Welby resulted in a unanimous decision to drop the case against Mario Riccio, who had taken his life.

Elunana’s death continues to be condemned by Catholic leaders.

Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said that the "sadness of the circumstances surrounding the death of Eluana Englaro must spur us on to search for effective ways to serve life."

“Eluana did not die on her own; rather she was killed by those who deprived her of food and water. Hers was certainly not a natural death," he added.

Simon Castellvi, the president of the International Federation of Associations of Catholic Doctors, also condemned the death in a statement.

“Neither as doctors, nor as Christians nor as persons can we accept what was done to Eluana. A human being can never be left without food. Eluana was alive and they killed her," he said.

“Eluana could breath, eat, swallow and smile. And now she is longer in the land of the living,” Castellvi added. “We perfectly understand the suffering of the father. Eluana was like a little child who needs to be cared for. But Eluana was alive. To deny her nourishment and sedate her to the end, when she had no pain, is simply and candidly murder."

"Nothing or nobody can justify withdrawing her nourishment and administering a sedative to her, clearly in order to mercilessly accelerate the end of her days,” the doctors group continued.

“We condemn in the strongest terms the physical elimination of Eluana and we trust the leaders of countries will see the right to life as the basis for living together in peace," the physician concluded.

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