Actually, I am heartened that this case is making such a disturbance in Europe. I am sure the perps expected this would be a non-newsworthy event basically ignored by the public, but it is blowing up. Effect of Terri's Legacy??
The issue of euthanasia is making the headlines in Italy over a woman who has been in a coma for 16-years.
It follows a move by state prosecutors to appeal against a Milan court ruling allowing her family to remove the feeding tube that has kept her alive.
Eluana Englaro, 37, has been in a vegetative state since being hurt in a 1992 car crash.
Now the Italian parliament has passed a resolution saying judges have no right to decide such matters. But some politicians are calling for clear legislation.
Antonello Soro of the Democratic Party said: “there needs to be a law to cover the final part of life, to avoid the judicial vaccuum that exists at the moment, that leaves judges lacking the legal framework with which to deal with these problems.”
The judges say Eluano’s coma has been proven irreversible and that before the accident she had stated her preference to die rather than being kept alive.
But the Vatican has criticised the ruling, calling it a mistake.
A senior prosecutor has moved to overturn an appeal court decision that cleared doctors to stop feeding a patient in a coma for 16 years, Italian newspapers citing legal sources reported yesterday.
The move was just the latest development in a controversial legal battle by the patient's family to end her treatment, which has revived the debate over the sensitive issue of euthanasia in this largely Roman Catholic country.
Milan prosecutor Maria Antonietta Pezza late Thursday asked the Court of Cassation to strike down the July 9 appeal court ruling, the newspapers reported.
The appeal court had cleared the father of Eluana Englaro to stop the "hydration and forced feeding" that had kept his daughter alive since January 18, 1992, when a road accident left her in a coma.
The appeal ruling had said that Englaro's "permanent vegetative state was irrersible." If the young women had been capable of expressing her view, she would have preferred to die than be kept alive in an artificial manner, it added.
But Pezza said the appeal court judges "have not established, with sufficient objectivity, the irreversibility of the permanent vegatative state" of Englaro, and called for their ruling to be suspended immediately.
Pezza's intervention means that the staff caring for Englaro at a hospital in the northern city of Lecco cannot stop the treatment that has been keeping her alive.
The patient's family has been pressing the courts to allow them to stop treatment since 1999, but the Roman Catholic Church -- and a large part of the political class in Italy -- is vehemently opposed to euthanasia.
For the Vatican, Monsignor Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Academy for Live, had objected that July's appeal court decision effectively provided a de facto approval for the practice of euthanasia.
Late Thursday, the case was debated in Italy's lower parliamentary chamber. Members of the Chamber of Deputies finally decided raise the issue with the Constitutional Court, Italy's highest court.
Most deputies argued that the appeal court judges had exceeded their authority in ruling on how to end the patient's life: that was the prerogative of lawmakers the said. They called on the matter to be taken out of the hands of the judges.
Italy's senators were due to vote on the deputies' proposition yesterday in the upper parliamentary chamber.