The reason why it’s time to be silent about the Englaro Case

While the right to die has been a prominent topic of discussion in the UK, it has also been exercising Italian courts and media. Eluana Englaro entered in an irreversible vegetative state seventeen years ago, after a car crash.

Since the year 2000 her father, Mr Beppino Englaro, fought a court war
for removing the feeding tube that had kept his daughter alive for so
long even if, before the road accident, she had declared to friends and
family that she would have found it degrading and inhuman to be kept
alive in a state of total unconsciousness.
The battle for granting her wish has been long and painful for the
family that has been attacked and obstructed by the major
representative members of the Catholic Church and from many
politicians. After tormenting juridical and political struggles, on
November the 13 year 2008, the top Italian Court (Court of Cassation)
finally and definitely allowed the interruption of the artificial
alimentation. Her father commented: “we live in a state of law”.
Newspapers will still talk about this sad issue for a long time, like
they did in the past years.
But even if it’s obviously good that now Italian people can say that
they live in a state of law, in which people are not forced against
their (previously expressed) will to be kept alive, this is also the
moment to show respect for the family’s pain, stopping the polemic.
Unfortunately demeaning comments about this court decision and about
the whole story have already started to be thrown at the Englaro
family, especially from people who consider themselves perfect
representatives of compassion and humanity. After these juridical
battles now it’s time for the family to conclude this long process of
mourning, that’s why people close to the Englaros are asking for a
respectful silence. As the Consulta di Bioetica di Pisa writes in a
very short press release “it’s time to be silent and let to the father
the difficult task to carry out his daughter’s will”.

References

The Times Online

La Repubblica

Corriere della Sera

Corriere della Sera (2)

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