The Archbishop of Turin, Cardinal Severino Poletto, encouraged Italian doctors to resort to conscientious objection if they are ordered to let Eluana Englaro—known as the Terri Schiavo of Italy—die of starvation.
In an interview published in “La Repubblica,” Cardinal Poletto explained that “letting someone who is in a vegetative state starve to death is euthanasia, and the Church is against euthanasia as with any other form of taking a life.”
In 1992, Eluana Englaro, 38, fell into a vegetative state after a car accident. Last November, a court authorized her parents to disconnect her feeding tube and allow her to die, but until now, Italian health care professionals have refused to carry out the sentence.
“The law of God never goes against man. To go against the law of God means going against man. Therefore, if the two laws are in contradiction it is because the law of man is wrong and will be revealed as such by its own fruits,” the cardinal explained.
Cardinal Poletto said, “The possibility exists of conscientiously objecting when the application of a law contrasts with his or her own principles.” “No human law can go against conscience, obliging it to commit acts that are against our own convictions.”
“This is valid for a doctor who is being asked to practice an abortion, as well as for the one who is forced to remove Eluana’s feeding tube, or for the pharmacist who refuses to sell a certain pill,” he added.