Benedict didn't mention Eluana Englaro by name, but it was clear he was referring to her case, which has made headlines in Italy for months. Englaro has been in a vegetative state since 1992 after a car accident. She was 20 at the time.
Her father has fought a decade-long court battle to disconnect her feeding tube; he says his daughter visited a friend in a coma shortly before her accident and expressed the will to refuse treatment in the same situation …
In 2007, the Vatican condemned American Terri Schiavo's death as "arbitrarily hastened" and called the removal of her feeding tube a violation of the principles of Christianity and civilization.
She died March 31, 2005, in a Florida hospice after her parents unsuccessfully battled a court order to have her feeding tube removed.
Oh, yes. Terry Schiavo. We came down on the other side of that debate from our usual philosophical allies, big time. In that case, the parents wanted to keep the feeding tube in place. In the Italian case the father wants it removed. In both situations, an obscene bureaucratic fiat just says no to an intimate family decision that should be nobody else's business. Been there, done that.