Italy’s Terry Schiavo

There has been another tragic turn in the case of Eluana Englaro.

The young Italian woman, who is in a coma and requires food and water to be given to her by a feeding tube, has been taken from a hospital in Lecco, Italy, by her father without legal authorization.

According to this report by Catholic News Agency, Eluana’s father has in effect kidnapped her and placed her in a different hospital in order that she can be killed by depriving her of nourishment.

“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like she was in Lecco and after three days, if nothing new happens, the nourishment will be slowly and gradually withdrawn,” a lawyer for her father Beppino explained to the Italian newspaper La Repubblica about the plan to kill Eluano. “She will live for two, or at maximum, three weeks, unless there are further delays.”

In the hospital in Lecco, Eluana was receiving care from the Sisters of Mercy. She has been in a coma since 1992, when she was injured in a car accident.

Church authorities across Italy have condemned the efforts to obtain legal authorization to kill Eluana, partly so that advocates of euthanasia can claim that a precedent has been set allowing for such actions in the cases of other comatose patients.

And Pope Benedict XVI touched on the issue during his Angelus remarks last Sunday at St. Peter’s Square.

Speaking in the context of the Day for Life observed Feb. 1 in Italy, the Pope said the answer to physical suffering isn’t to kill people through euthanasia “but to bear witness to the love that helps us to face pain and agony in a human way.”

Said the Holy Father, “We are certain no tear, whether it be of those who suffer or those who stand by them, goes unnoticed before God.”

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