Eluana Englaro, a comatose woman who has come to symbolize the right-to-die movement in Italy, has reportedly been moved to a hospital in the north-eastern town of Udine where she can die peacefully. Eluana, 37, has been kept in a vegetative state since a car accident plunged her into a coma in 1992.
Right up to the last moment opponents of the “right to die” movement tried to oppose the bid by her family to remove her from the Catholic clinic in Lecco and take her to an establishment that would remove her feeding tube. This could be the last episode in an intense legal battle that has gripped Italy for years as her family has argued that she would not have wanted to continue living in her current state.
But few clinics have been willing to oversee the mercy killing in the face of huge pressure from the Italian Catholic Church and the Vatican. Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday rejected euthanasia as a “false” answer to suffering, saying those in pain should instead be helped to confront it.