Italian Court Green Signals For 'Mercy Killing' In The Right-To-Die Case

by priya on  January 27, 2009 at 5:27 PM Medico Legal News   - G J E 4
A court in Milan on Monday overruled a regional order barring area hospitals from halting a comatose woman's life support in a high-profile right-to-die case, a lawyer for the family told AFP.
 Italian Court Green Signals For 'Mercy Killing' In The Right-To-Die Case
Italian Court Green Signals For 'Mercy Killing' In The Right-To-Die Case

"The tribunal annulled the administrative order, and it ordered the (Lombardy) region to apply the decision of the appeal court," Vittorio Angiolini said by telephone.

Eluana Englaro's father won a 10-year court battle with an appeal court ruling in November that allowed doctors to remove her feeding tube.

Authorities in Milan had already ordered all health personnel in the region not to carry out the action after a lower court ruling in September.

Englaro, 37, has been in a coma since a car accident 17 years ago.

"I can be nothing but satisfied," her father Beppino Englaro said of the ruling, speaking to the ANSA news agency.

Englaro is currently at a Catholic hospital near Milan where nurses have refused to cooperate in ending her life.

Bucking pressure from the Italian Catholic Church and the Vatican, a geriatric clinic in northeastern Udine has said it was prepared to oversee the mercy killing.

On Monday it said it would not make a definitive decision before next week.

"We are still checking the technical procedure," the clinic's deputy director Luciano Cattivello told ANSA, adding that deliberations would probably continue through the week.

Monsignor Angelo Bagnasco, the head of the Italian Catholic Church, reiterated its opposition to euthanasia on Monday, saying it was "necessary to reaffirm and guarantee ... the true right (to life) of every human person."

He added: "The right to life is indeed incontrovertible."

The withdrawal of feeding and hydration is "unacceptable euthanasia," he said.

Source: AFP

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