Monday, February 9, 2009

Eluana Englaro has died

Eluana Englaro, the woman at the center of the euthanasia debate in Italy, has died only a few days after having her fluids and food withheld from her care. It is very sad that society may find it acceptable to kill someone by intentional dehydration.

To intentionally dehydrate someone to death, who is not otherwise dying, is euthanasia. The intention of the omission is to cause death and the death results from dehydration.

It is interesting that she died of dehydration so quickly. Usually it takes 10 - 14 days to die from dehydration. The question is, what did she actually die from?

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition urges the Italian Senate to continue drafting a bill to prevent further intentional deaths by dehydration.

The link to the article:
The text from the article:

ROME: The woman at the heart of a bitter right-to-die debate died Monday, just as lawmakers began debating a bill designed to keep her alive, news reports said.

Eluana Englaro, 38, had been in a vegetative state since she was in a car accident 17 years ago.

"Yes, she has left us," the ANSA news agency quoted her father, Beppino Englaro, as saying. "But I don't want to say anything, I just want to be alone."

Her doctors said her condition was irreversible. Late last year, her father won a decade-long court battle to allow her feeding tubes to be removed, saying that was her wish.

But Italy's center-right government, backed by the Vatican, had pressed to keep her alive, racing against time to pass legislation prohibiting food and water from being suspended for patients who depend on them.

Senators who had been debating a bill designed to prevent her feeding tubes from being removed observed a minute of silence when the news was read out in the Senate chamber.

Government officials vowed late Monday to pass the legislation even though it was too late to save Englaro.


mikedrabik said...

This death seems suspicious. The place where she was staying, besides beginning to withhold food and water was also in process of administering some palliative care in the form of sedatives. I wonder if somebody there "accidentally" gave her too much.

I think many realize that part of this debate about withholding nutrition and hydration is about deliberately giving a person deemed no worthy life high dose of medication to put them down - like we do with animals.

God grant Eluana eternal rest. And have mercy on her father and others who wanted - through a misplaced sense of mercy - to kill her.

They got their wish.

Anonymous said...

I always find it interesting how such life-caring people can be so wrong when it comes to euthanasia.
I'm so glad that I don't live in Italy or in the States, and that I do have the chance to choose how to die.

Anonymous said...

What in god's name is WRONG with you people?

A vegetative state for -17- YEARS!

The money it cost to keep her "living" could have been used to SAVE STARVING CHILDREN! You know, people who can actually EXPERIENCE LIFE rather than lay in a bed for 17 years accomplishing NOTHING but eatting and pooping.

You fools.

I hope if I am ever in that state that my father, brother, mother, or girlfriend has the MERCY in them to put a pillow over my face and end a bleak existence.

Shocking that people can try and tell me when I'm allowed to die!

Anonymous said...

I can only hope that those of you idiots who feel that granting someone a dignified death is murder has to watch someone they love turn into a vegetable and lie there for decades. Better yet - I hope that THEY are the ones who are there - suffering - begging on some level to be put out of their misery. I hope they get the same "mercy" they wish upon others. SHAME ON YOU ALL and shame on your pitiful god that would put someone through that sort of suffering.

I realize that you won't be courageous enough to post this - but my message will be sent anyway.

Alex Schadenberg said...

Dear Sam:

Since when was death by dehydration a dignified and compassionate way to die?

If you are so concerned about suffering, you would oppose killing people by dehydration.

Further to that, if your neighbor was dehydrating his elderly dog to death, I am sure that you would phone the authorities.

It is inhumane to dehydrate a dog to death, and it is inhumane to dehydrate a human to death.

Alex Schadenberg said...


It is inhumane to intentionally dehydrate a person who is not otherwise dying to death.

I forgot that the readers may not understand the distinction between the effects of the body shutting down or nearing death and the effects of dehydrating a person who is not otherwise dying.

Alex Schadenberg said...

Dear Anonymous:

I usually don't publish anonymous comments but really.

When when did society decide to solve the problem of starving children by dehydrating the cognitively disabled to death.

By the way, no one is telling you or anyone when you are allowed to die, that is the foolish comment.

We are saying that to directly and intentionally cause another person's death is wrong. To directly and intentionally dehydrate a person to death means that society can decide when another person's life will be ended by someone else.

This is a serious concern.

Further to that, since when was killing a person, who is not otherwise dying, by dehydration a caring and compassionate act?

And when was being cognitively disabled a death sentence?

Alex Schadenberg said...

Dear Anonymous:

The issue isn't about choosing how to die.

The issue is about giving somebody else the right to be directly and intentionally involved with causing another person's death.

Further to that: I would far rather be on the side of caring for people and not killing them because when I consider the social context that these decisions are made, it becomes clear that vulnerable people are directly threatened by euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Eluana was cognitively disabled and not otherwise dying.