Wednesday, February 11, 2009

At Least We Won't Have Terri Schiavo Redux

Eluana Englaro has died.

The 38 year old's case set off a firestorm of debate in Italy when the decision to take her off life support was countermanded by the Berlusconi government. Ms. Englaro, a victim of a car crash, had been in a vegetative state since her accident in 1992.

I've been relatively silent on this issue because frankly I don't think there's much to say. There's a real difference between life-saving medical technology in the abstract and using that technology to preserve the physical existence of someone who will never regain consciousness to appreciate it. Also, the Italian government's statements on the matter have been hardly respectful to Ms. Englaro as a person, apparently valuing her more as a prospective mother - even in her brain-dead state on a feeding tube - than as a human being in her own right.

There have also been many more eloquent voices who have spoken up on Ms. Englaro's case. Liss at Shakesville has probably the most concise take on the issue.

Rest in peace, Eluana Englaro.

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