Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Cases like Eluana Englaro can have happy endings. Missionary Rejects Award in Protest of Italy's Euthanasia death - Eluana Englaro

Aldo Trento, an Italian missionary priest in Paraguay, is returning the honour he received from the Italian president, Giorgio Napolitano because he refused to protect the life of Eluana Englaro, the woman who was recently dehydrated to death in Italy.

Zenit is reporting that Trento told the Italian newspaper I1 Foglio:
"I have more than one case like Eluana Englaro."

He continued: "I think of little Victor, a child in a coma, who clenches his fists. All we do is feed him through a tube. Faced with these situations, how can I react to the case of Eluana?"

"Yesterday they brought me a girl who was naked, a prostitute, in a coma, who had been dumped in front of a hospital. Her name is Patricia and she is 19. We washed her. Yesterday she started to move her eyes."

"Celeste is 11; she suffers from a very grave form of leukemia; she was never taken care of and they brought her to me just to bury. Today she is walking. And she laughs."

"Cristina is a little girl who was left in a garbage dump, she is blind, deaf, she trembles when I kiss her, she lives with a feeding tube like Eluana. She does not respond except for the trembling but little by little she will regain her faculties."

"I am the godfather for many of these sick people. I'm not bothered by their decaying bodies. If you could see with what humility my doctors care for them."

Trento says that he feels "immense sorrow" for Englaro: "It is as if you were to say to me: 'We're going to take away your sick children now.'"

For the missionary, "man cannot be reduced to chemicals."

Link to the text of the Zenit article:
In 2004 I attended the International Congress in Rome on Persistent Vegetative State. One of the interventions was by a physician in Italy who worked at an "Awakening Center".

There were two aspects to the awakening centers.
1. The people were treated in a dignified manner, like human beings,
2. The people in Vegetative State were given physio-therapy in a machine that stood them upright - on their feet - and exercised all parts of their body. They were having significant success in bringing people out of vegetative state.

I do not know whether these Awakening Centers have continued to improve the methods or not but I do know that the attitude was that certain types of brain injuries can be healed, or at least partially healed.

Finally, those who read the report that indicated the level of care Eluana was receiving, you could only conclude, why did her father want her dead? She was lovingly and incredibly cared for in a dignified and compassionate manner.

When reading the report my reaction was: Who could think that her life had no value?

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