The ongoing mantra of conservatives is their opposition to government intervention in the lives of citizens. According to conservative philosophy, government has no right to interfere in the daily decisions of humans. Of course, when it comes to issues of abortion or the right to die, conservatives switch their line and become advocates of government interference in making decisions for individuals and their families. Eluana Englaro died peacefully in her bed even as the Italian parliament debated taking action to over turn a decision by the Italian Supreme Court to grant her father’s request to allow a peaceful death for his daughter who has been in a coma for seventeen years.
The Vatican issued a statement asking God to “forgive” those who had implemented the father’s decision to end life support for his daughter. The president of Italy refused to go along with Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi who wanted to ignore the court ruling. Neurologist Giorgio Napolitano said it eloquently: “I am helping a person achieve her own wish, a defenseless person who was betrayed by everyone except her father and a few other people.”