In a week marked by controversy over a priest’s statements concerning the Holocaust, the Vatican faced a new problem when an Italian court granted a request by the father of a girl who has been in a coma to have feeding tube disconnected so the young woman could die in peace. After hospitals refused to cooperate with his desire for his daughter to die, the father was forced to place her in a private clinic where the tubes were disconnected. A small crowd of anti-euthanasia activists kept vigil outside the clinic shouting, “Eluana, Wake Up.” She did not.
A Vatican spokesperson expressed the view of the church that allowing the woman to die was tantamount to murder and was opposed by the Pope and other church officials. As in all such cases there is no simple clear answer as to what should be done. In the end, it must be a parent or spouse decision and not one made by government or church.