Vatican official defends life of Italian woman in vegetative state
Published: August 1, 2008
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Because Eluana Englaro is alive, caregivers must continue to give her food and water, said the president of the Vatican's Pontifical Academy for Life. Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, president of the academy, hailed a July 31 decision by the procurator general's office in Milan to ask Italy's Supreme Court to overturn a lower court decision authorizing the withdrawal of nutrition and hydration at the request of the young woman's father. The procurator general's office said that when Milan's civil Court of Appeals ruled July 9 that the provision of nutrition and hydration could be stopped it did so without obtaining a clear scientific opinion that the young woman's condition could never improve. In addition to saying it would take the case to the Supreme Court, the procurator general's office asked the Court of Appeals to suspend its ruling so that Englaro's family does not act before the Supreme Court can rule. Now 37 years old, Englaro was injured in a car accident in 1992. She has been in what doctors describe as a persistent vegetative state for 16 years.
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