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Euthanasia battle in Italy goes to the Senate

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Euthanasia battle in Italy goes to the Senate


The battle continues in Italy between those in favour and those against letting a woman, who has been in a coma for 17 years, die.

The Senate is holding an emergency session to discuss a bill that would force doctors to resume feeding Eluana Englaro, reversing a ruling by the country’s top court that her tubes could be removed. Doctors stopped feeding her on Friday, following her family’s wishes. But Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s government, backed by the Vatican, argues that amounts to euthanasia, which is illegal in Italy, although patients have a right to refuse treatment. Earlier, her lawyer said an attempt by authorities to delay the ruling by questioning the validity of the clinic she is being cared at failed. Englaro’s doctor says she may stay alive another eight to 10 days without food. The case has deeply divided Italy, stirring strong emotions, with both sides staging demonstrations in front of the clinic in the northeastern town of Udine.

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