ELUANO ENGALARO(35) in Italy is in comatose in an hospital ever since her car accident in 1992.She is on life support system. The food and oxygen are fed thru the tubes.The doctors say she has little hope of a recovery. Her father,Beppino engalaro,unable to see his daughter's endless suffering approached a court to allow her to die peacefully by removing the tubes which sustain her life. The court in Milan allowed the request overruling lower court decision, let us say surprisingly as courts in Italy do not allow such cases easily
Remember, Italy is a country with predominant catholic community and strong Vatican influence. The protest against the mercy killing started from both Vatican and from a sizable population from Italy itself. The Prime minister got passed an emergency decree against court ruling and sent to the President for approval. The president,Giorgio Napolitano had, but different views.He is in favour of the court ruling and has refused to sign the emergency bill. Now it is a constitutional problem in Italy and the controversy is raging there.
In many nations the euthanasia is not allowed. There is moral dilemma and also a fear that such license to take off life can be widely misused. The moral dilemma against euthanasia is more or less akin to the one in abortion practice. However, countries which allow abortion on doctor's certificate do not all allow euthanasia The one glaring example is Italy itself because Italy has legalized abortion, tens of thousands of abortions are conducted there legally but not a single mercy killing. It is not clear what basic difference the Italians see in abortion and euthanasia as both are snuffing out a life.
Again, no mercy plays a role in the case of criminals awarded death sentence. The State plays the role of God in taking off the life of their lives. Laws should be based on reason in the first place.
P.S. Ms. Eluano died a few days after tubes supplying food were removed routinely by Doctors. On hearing the news of her death the Senate stood in silence for a few minutes praying for the departed soul. The Flag flew half-mast and a fresh debate started on the issue.