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Woman to be starved to death

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CNN recently published an article with the deeply euphemistic title, "Woman in coma to be allowed to die." While technically true, it sounds as if it refers to a person who has begged to be allowed to stop extreme treatment measures in order to be allowed to pass in peace.

This is not true.

In fact, Eluana Englaro, an Italian woman who has been in a vegetative state, not a coma, since 1992, is not under any extreme treatment measures. (See this link for more information about the difference between coma and vegatative state.) She breathes without a ventilator. The nuns treating her are eager to continue to provide care for her for the rest of her natural life.

But Ms. Englaro's own family wants to stop feeding her so she will die of dehydration. This is not a dignified death.

In a letter published in a local newspaper, her caregivers wrote, "We don’t ask anything but the silence and the liberty to love and to devote ourselves to those who are weak, poor and little in return." (Source: Life Site News.)

What a tragic turn of events. Ms. Englaro is not suffering (not that suffering would justify murdering her through deliberate neglect) and not a burden on anybody (not that being a burden would justify it, either). If she is capable of suffering (and I pray she is not), she certainly will suffer in the two to three weeks it takes her to die of dehydration, a miserable, painful, and barbaric way to die.

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