Udine, Italy, February 2009. People pray for Eluana inside the church of “Madonna delle Grazie”.
Eluana Englaro had a car accident on January 18th, 1992 and since then went into a “vegetative state”. For years, Eluana’s father, Beppino, fought to have her feeding tube removed, saying it would be a dignified end to his daughter’s life. He said that before the crash his daughter visited a friend who was in a coma and told him she didn’t want the same thing to happen to her if she were ever in the same state. Italy does not allow euthanasia. Patients have a right
to refuse treatment, but they are not allowed to give advance directions on the treatment they wish to receive if they become unconscious. Doctors had been withholding her food since Friday 6. Every day pro-life activists have staged a vigil outside the clinic, praying for mercy and for keeping Eluana alive.
She died from cardiac arrest on february 9, after five days.
When Englaro’s death was announced, the Senate was debating a proposed law that would require doctors to provide nourishment to all incapacitated patients, and that would have forced doctors to resume feeding Englaro through tubes.