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Home arrow Delta arrow Italian court allows woman to be removed from life support
Italian court allows woman to be removed from life support PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 09 July 2008

An Italian judge yesterday said a woman who has been in a vegetative state for 16 years following a road accident could be removed from life support, the ANSA news agency reported.
Eluana Englaro, born in 1972, has been receiving food and water artificially since January 1992 in a hospital in northern Lecco, and her father Beppino Englaro had been seeking an end to the life support since 1999.
The Milan appeal court said it had been proven that Englaro's coma was irreversible.
It was also convinced that the young woman, when fully conscious, had stated her preference to die rather than being kept alive artificially with no perceptive ability or contact with others.
Debate on the emotive issue of euthanasia has been complicated in Italy by the influence of the Catholic Church, which notably refused to allow a religious funeral for poet and writer Piergiorgio Welby in 2006.
Welby, who suffered from muscular dystrophy, died in December 2006 after being taken off an artificial respirator.
His case highlighted ambiguities in Italian law, which currently forbids euthanasia but upholds a patient's right to refuse care.
Just two months later, a judge refused to allow another muscular dystrophy patient, Giovanni Nuvoli, to be removed from a respirator.

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