The father of an Italian woman who is comatose and living off a feeding tube has taken her out of her hospital without authorization to move her to another facility where he plans to withdraw her food and hydration.
Beppino Englaro kidnapped his daughter Eluana during the night from her hospital in Lecco, Italy, where she was receiving care from the Sisters of Mercy, and transported her to a hospital in Udine.
The Engarlo’s lawyer explained to La Repubblica Eluana’s father plans to do: “During the first few days Eluana Englaro will be given nourishment like she was in Lecco and after three days, if nothing new happens, the nourishment will be slowly and gradually withdrawn. She will live for two, or at maximum, three weeks, unless there are further delays,” he said.
Advocates of euthanasia—including her father—intend to use Eluana’s case to set a legal precedent in Italy, where the norm allowing for euthanasia in cases of patients in a coma is currently being debated.
Laura Portaluppi, a friend of Eluana, told La Repubblica, “It’s like going back in time 17 years, to that day when I lost my best and only friend. Today is a dark day for me, it’s as if a huge wound was reopened that will begin a long journey taking Eluana to death.”
Archbishop Pietro Brollo of Udine has called on the faithful to pray for Eluana, for the Englaro family and for all volunteers who help those suffering.”
Likewise, the Bishops’ Conference of Italy issued a statement at the conclusion of the meeting of its executive committee and stressed that disconnecting Eluana’s feeding tube is clearly a case of euthanasia.