Eluana Englaro has died. From the story:
Eluana Englaro, the 38-year-old comatose woman at the center of an Italian right-to-die case, died Monday night despite efforts by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to order doctors to feed her, the clinic said.
She had been in a coma since a 1992 car crash. A moment of silence was observed in the Senate, which was debating a law that would have forced the clinic in northern Italy where she was hospitalized to resume feeding her through a tube after nutrition was stopped at the request of the family.
This was too fast to have been caused by dehydration. Perhaps her body just gave out.
I hope the Italian government looks into this issue in depth and with sobriety. Removing sustenance based on a patient’s quality of life is too important to be left to rushed legislation pushed forward in a sensationalist media milieu. But I do think that food and fluids needs to be looked at differently than other forms of care–for reasons I laid out in the wake of Terri Schiavo’s death. The law should reflect that.