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.
Rome, Italy (LifeNews.com) -- Italian prosecutors have filed an appeal in the case of a father's attempt to kill his disabled daughter via euthanasia by removing her feeding tube. State prosecutors filed papers on Thursday appealing the ruling a Milan court handed down earlier this month in the case of Eluana Englaro.
Englaro is the subject of the latest battle similar to the one Terri Schiavo's family waged to prevent her former husband from denying her food and water.
She has been in what doctors term a vegetative state for 16 years following an automobile accident in 1992 and has received food and water through a feeding tube.
The state attorneys asked Italy's top court to issue a temporary injunction preventing Beppino Englaro, Eluana's father, from killing his daughter before the case can be heard.
Since the ruling issued on July 9, Beppino has been trying to find a hospice to remove the feeding tube but has been unable to find one that will take Eluana's life.
Meanwhile, according to a Reuters report, Italy's lower house of parliament approved a measure on Thursday censuring the judges at the Milan court. The Italian Senate is expected to approve a similar motion today.
The motion says it is the right of lawmakers to make laws related to pertinent bioethics issues and not for courts to determine the fate of disabled patients like Englaro......................