Italian Nuns Refuse to carry court order to Kill Eluana Englaro
The nuns who run the hospice in which Eluana Englaro has been living for 14 years have refused to carry out the court order to remove her food and hydration tube. On Friday, the highest court of appeals of Italy upheld a previous court’s ruling that Eluana Englaro, the young disabled woman who has been in a state of diminished consciousness since being in a car accident in 1992, may be killed by the removal of her food and hydration tube.
In a letter published in yesterday’s Avvenire, the daily newspaper of the Italian Bishops Conference, the Misericordine nuns of Lecco said, “Our hope, and that of many like us, is that the death by hunger and thirst of Eluana, and others in her condition, will not be carried out.”
“That is why, once again, we maintain our availability, today and into the future, to continue to serve Eluana. If there are those who consider her dead, let Eluana remain with us who feel she is alive. 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.”
At the same time, the Secretary of Welfare, Eugenia Roccella, said in a statement today that there is “no obligation” for government-funded health care facilities to implement the decision of the Court of Cassation that patients can be dehydrated to death.
Legal experts have said that it is possible under Italian law for the sisters to apply for permission from the courts to be appointed Eluana’s legal guardian. Monsignore Ignacio Barreiro, the head of the Rome office of Human Life International told LifeSiteNews.com that such a possibility could be a real glimmer of hope for saving Eluana’s life.
“It’s more than reasonable,” he said, “that someone who wants to keep the person alive should be appointed the guardian, rather than the person who’s ready to kill her. You don’t have to have a doctorate in theology to say that; it’s just common sense.”