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megimoo
02-08-2009, 07:35 PM
The Italian government has been plunged into a constitutional crisis over the fate of a 38-year-old woman who has been in a coma for the past 17 years. Eluana Englaro was left in a vegetative state after a car crash in 1992. After a decade-long court battle, doctors reduced her nutrition on Friday in preparation for removing her feeding tubes, which her father claims would be in accordance with her wishes.

But in an extraordinary turn of events, the country's prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, after consultation with the Vatican, has issued an emergency decree stating that food and water cannot be suspended for any patient depending upon them, reversing the earlier court ruling. On issuing the emergency decree, Berlusconi declared: "This is murder. I would be failing to rescue her. I'm not a Pontius Pilate."

Justifying his campaign to save Englaro's life, the prime minister added that, physically at least, she was "in the condition to have babies", a remark described by La Stampa newspaper as "shocking". Giorgio Napolitano, Italy's president, has refused to sign the decree, but if it is ratified by the Italian parliament doctors may be obliged to resume the feeding of Eluana early this week.
snip

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/feb/08/englaro-italy-vatican

FlaGator
02-08-2009, 09:16 PM
The Italian government has been plunged into a constitutional crisis over the fate of a 38-year-old woman who has been in a coma for the past 17 years. Eluana Englaro was left in a vegetative state after a car crash in 1992. After a decade-long court battle, doctors reduced her nutrition on Friday in preparation for removing her feeding tubes, which her father claims would be in accordance with her wishes.

But in an extraordinary turn of events, the country's prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, after consultation with the Vatican, has issued an emergency decree stating that food and water cannot be suspended for any patient depending upon them, reversing the earlier court ruling. On issuing the emergency decree, Berlusconi declared: "This is murder. I would be failing to rescue her. I'm not a Pontius Pilate."

Justifying his campaign to save Englaro's life, the prime minister added that, physically at least, she was "in the condition to have babies", a remark described by La Stampa newspaper as "shocking". Giorgio Napolitano, Italy's president, has refused to sign the decree, but if it is ratified by the Italian parliament doctors may be obliged to resume the feeding of Eluana early this week.
snip

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/feb/08/englaro-italy-vatican

She should be allowed to die naturally. She's in a long term state where she can't feed herself nor ask for food. She should have been allowed to pass away along time ago.

Goldwater
02-08-2009, 09:28 PM
She should be allowed to die naturally. She's in a long term state where she can't feed herself nor ask for food. She should have been allowed to pass away along time ago.

I did not expect that position from you.

djones520
02-08-2009, 09:46 PM
I did not expect that position from you.

What is the point of living if there is no life to be had? Honestly. Why prolong the pain and suffering of her loved ones in futile hopes? 17 years have gone by, that woman is never going to awaken. Her brain is mush now and the only reason she is alive is because of the machines.

Even looking at it from a religious stand point, what is the point of keeping her shell of a body alive? She will never awaken, never "live" again, so why hold her back from passing on to the after life?

FlaGator
02-08-2009, 09:58 PM
I did not expect that position from you.

I am not for assisted suicide or anything like that, but the woman is dead whether her body knows it or not. Her soul has probably gone to where ever souls go and has been their for a long time now. All she is now is a memorial to a life lost that her loved ones pay homage too. It is sad for her and them and if they can finally let her go the state should just stay out of it. I felt the same way about Terry Schiavo and for many of the same reasons.

AHeneen
02-08-2009, 10:06 PM
Reminds me of the Terri Schiavo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terri_Schaivo) case.

linda22003
02-09-2009, 09:10 AM
Reminds me of the Terri Schiavo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terri_Schaivo) case.

Yes. What a circus that turned into. :(

http://blog.spacebear.net/pics/schiavo-protest.jpg

Celtic Rose
02-09-2009, 09:23 AM
What is the point of living if there is no life to be had? Honestly. Why prolong the pain and suffering of her loved ones in futile hopes? 17 years have gone by, that woman is never going to awaken. Her brain is mush now and the only reason she is alive is because of the machines.

Even looking at it from a religious stand point, what is the point of keeping her shell of a body alive? She will never awaken, never "live" again, so why hold her back from passing on to the after life?

People have come out of very long comas before Sarah Scantlin was in a non-responsive coma like state for 20 years, until she eventually regained awareness. Linky (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/08/04/earlyshow/series/main757388.shtml)

A man in Poland came out of a 20 year coma in 2007 (what a culture shock!) Link (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6715313.stm)

It is admittedly a long shot for her wake up, but it is not impossible, and as far as I know, the only "life support" she is on is water and nutrition, which means that her body is still functioning, but she is unable to take in her own food and water. It is different if a person's heart is no longer beating on its own, or if they can no longer breathe on their own.

biccat
02-09-2009, 12:05 PM
Similar to the Terri Schiavo case, I think classifying food and water as "life sustaining treatment" that can be revoked at the whim of society is a terrible idea.

If she had a machine to keep her blood pumping or allowing her to breathe, it would be a very different story.

Depriving a person of food and water is a very cruel way to kill someone.

FlaGator
02-09-2009, 12:29 PM
Similar to the Terri Schiavo case, I think classifying food and water as "life sustaining treatment" that can be revoked at the whim of society is a terrible idea.

If she had a machine to keep her blood pumping or allowing her to breathe, it would be a very different story.

Depriving a person of food and water is a very cruel way to kill someone.

I suspect that being in a coma they are not aware of what is happening.

What would you want if it were you?

linda22003
02-09-2009, 01:17 PM
I suspect that being in a coma they are not aware of what is happening.

What would you want if it were you?

My desires are in my husband's power of attorney, and his are in my power of attorney. Anyone who has not taken care of this, DO SO.

FlaGator
02-09-2009, 01:49 PM
My desires are in my husband's power of attorney, and his are in my power of attorney. Anyone who has not taken care of this, DO SO.

I have it spelled out what to do long before I reach a situation like this. I have a standing do not resuscitate order in my living will and everyone who can make medical decisions for me knows my desires.

biccat
02-09-2009, 08:38 PM
I suspect that being in a coma they are not aware of what is happening.

What would you want if it were you?
So it's OK to kill people as long as they're in a coma at the time. What an interesting moral proposition.

If it were me, I would object to ongoing invasive medical procedures, but I wouldn't ask my wife to watch me starve to death.

micmac
02-09-2009, 09:14 PM
Similar to the Terri Schiavo case, I think classifying food and water as "life sustaining treatment" that can be revoked at the whim of society is a terrible idea.

If she had a machine to keep her blood pumping or allowing her to breathe, it would be a very different story.

Depriving a person of food and water is a very cruel way to kill someone.

I completely agree. A newborn infant cannot live unless it is given food and water and a comatose victim is no different.

FlaGator
02-09-2009, 09:43 PM
So it's OK to kill people as long as they're in a coma at the time. What an interesting moral proposition.
If it were me, I would object to ongoing invasive medical procedures, but I wouldn't ask my wife to watch me starve to death.

That was very disingenuous of you. I didn't say that it was ok to kill someone if they were in a coma. You said that it was cruel to starve someone, I just questioned if they were in a coma and not aware of being starved is it still being cruel?

Which is worse for the family, watching someone starve to death that is not aware that they are starving to death or watching them day in and day out for 17 years as their muscles, tendons and ligaments start to atrophy and their bodies slowly waste away? I think it would be a tossup. I wouldn't wish to be a part of either, but if there were no other choice which do you feel to be crueler?

FlaGator
02-09-2009, 09:54 PM
I completely agree. A newborn infant cannot live unless it is given food and water and a comatose victim is no different.

The new born infant will probably be able to fend for his or her self in a few years. In this case the future is not nearly so certain. Despite what biccat has implied, I am not saying that everyone in a coma should be starved to death. I think these things must be taken on a case by case basis. If your wife was in a similar situation at what point would you feel that nature should be allowed to take its course? I guess what I am asking is how long do you think you could watch her deteriorate?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to argue a point. The nature of the conversation got me wondering what people think is cruel and inhumane and whose interests are actually being served by keeping someone alive or allowing them to die. I would like to mediate on this but I need other points of views to think about.