February 9, 2009

The battle is over, and as usual there are no winners

I told you all a little tale about a woman's family fighting for her right to die. Well, she died.

Italian coma battle woman dies

*Side note: If you don't like that headline I guarantee you I hate it more. Whaaaat?

Eluana Englaro, the Italian woman at the centre of a right-to-die debate, has died, the health minister has said.

Maurizio Sacconi made the announcement in Italy's Senate as politicians were debating a law that would have forced doctors to continue feeding her.

Ms Englaro, 38, had been in a persistent vegetative state since being injured in a car crash in 1992.

Doctors at a private clinic in the northern city of Udine had been withholding her food since Friday.

They had earlier said Ms Englaro might live for another two weeks.

Really, I'm more concerned with the family than these fuckheads fighting over this woman's body, on both sides. I understand that Italy has no euthanasia law (although patients can refuse treatment) so I suppose it had to become somebody's business. I still don't care. I just can't imagine how this family feels, having to watch their daughter for 17 years and, finally knowing that she would never wake again, have to fight tooth and nail to let her go.

In July, a court in Milan ruled that doctors had proved Ms Englaro's coma was irreversible. It also accepted that, before the accident, she had expressed a preference for dying over being kept alive artificially.

Perhaps you don't agree with euthanasia. I don't completely either. And we're fine with that. But you know, sometimes, at the end of the day it doesn't really matter what you believe in or in this case, don't, but rather, what's right for this woman and her family. I don't believe in suffering and that kind of overrides any personal queasiness I have about euthanasia, added to the fact that it's seriously no one's business but her family's.

And now she has passed on and you can believe this shit is nowhere near over. It will be taken to the streets (well, even more so actually). And that makes me sad and, dare I say, ill inside.

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