Eluana Englaro’s Father Could Get Murder Charge in Starvation Euthanasia Death

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 27, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Eluana Englaro’s Father Could Get Murder Charge in Starvation Euthanasia Death

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
February 27
, 2009

Rome, Italy (LifeNews.com) — Eluana Englaro’s father Beppino may be charged with murder in association with the starvation and dehydration euthanasia death of his daughter. After an international debate over whether she should be denied food and water, Beppino used the right he won in court to take his daughter’s life.

The disabled woman had been in a minimally conscious state since 1992, when she was involved in an automobile accident.

Englaro ultimately died earlier this month after having part of her food and water denied to her through her feeding tube over a five day period.

Now, pro-life groups in Italy have triggered an investigation into Beppino’s actions that could end up with local prosecutors charging him with murder.

Local officials in north-eastern Italy’s Udine region named him as one of 14 people they are investigation in relation to the euthanasia death. Other people include Eluana’s anesthesiologist, Amato De Monte, and members of the medical team that should have been providing her with proper medical care.

The pro-life group Truth and Life Committee prompted the investigation with the filing of a lawsuit and prosecutors must act on such suits even if they believe there is no evidence of wrongdoing.

Udine Chief Prosecutor Antonio Niancardi told the Italian ANSA news agency that the investigation was ”a due act,” meaning it was prompted by a complaint filed by a third party.

Mario Palmaro, the head of the pro-life group, told ANSA the 13-page lawsuit "is a very detailed report in which we implicate Beppino Englaro, the doctor and nurses, and the heads of the La Quiete clinic’."

He accused the medical staff or not following the standard practice of care and Italian law, which prohibits euthanasia.

Meanwhile, Englaro family’s lawyer, Giuseppe Campeis, said Beppino expected to face an investigation into Englaro’s death.

”It was something we’d been expecting, only perhaps it would have been better for it to arrive on the day of her death," he said. ”It doesn’t change anything for us. Now we’ll have the chance to clear everything up in cross-examination’."

Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, the health minister for the Vatican, told ANSA he was elated by the news of an investigation.

”If Beppino Englaro killed Eluana then he’s a murderer," he said.

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