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Italy court snubs euthanasia plea


__Kratos__

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An Italian judge has rejected a request by a terminally ill man to have doctors switch off his life support machine.

The judge said the case fell outside of his jurisdiction, saying politicians needed to address a "gap" in the law.

The landmark case of Piergiorgio Welby, 60, has sparked fierce debate in Italy, a mainly Roman Catholic country where euthanasia is illegal.

Mr Welby is confined to bed, is fed through a tube and speaks through a computer that reads his eye movements.

He appealed to President Giorgio Napolitano in October for euthanasia to be legalised so that he could then request it.

But Judge Antonio Salvio concluded in a 15-page ruling that Mr Welby's right to have his respirator removed was not "concretely safeguarded" by Italian law.

The issue needs to be addressed by politicians and possibly by legislation, the court said.

The ruling conceded that Mr Welby was among patients suffering "loneliness and despair" because of his condition.

Political divide

Mr Welby's case has been backed by pro-euthanasia campaigners in Italy's parliament.

Marco Capatto of Italy's Radical Party, a coalition partner in Prime Minister Romano Prodi's government, said his group would continue to campaign on Mr Welby's behalf.

"We're determined to support his plea to stop the torture he is suffering," the Reuters news agency reported him as saying.

But conservatives backed the decision.

Rocco Buttiglione, a devout Catholic and part of the centre-right opposition, told Reuters: "No-one can order to kill."

Prime Minister Romano Prodi's centre-left government is divided over the issue. His coalition includes Catholics as well as socialists, who have come out strongly in favour of Mr Welby's right to refuse treatment.

Euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide have been legalised in the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, but remain illegal in much of the rest of the world.

Source

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I think religion should stay out of other people's lifes. :hmm: This man clearly has a right to die with dignity and to stop further pain in a bleak and short future.

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Its such a shame that a man who's that ill can't rnd his own life because of a law.

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Update: Doctor 'helps Italian man to die'

A terminally ill Italian man who lost a legal battle for the right to die has passed away after his doctor said he switched off his life support machine.

Dr Mario Riccio said he had fulfilled the patient's legal right to refuse treatment. He denied it was euthanasia.

Piergiorgio Welby, 60, was paralysed by muscular dystrophy and his condition had worsened in recent weeks.

His plea for euthanasia - illegal in mainly Roman Catholic Italy - sparked a landmark court case and fierce debate.

Doctor's argument

"In Italian hospitals therapies are suspended all the time, and this does not lead to any intervention from magistrates or to problems of conscience," Dr Riccio told reporters, following Mr Welby's death late on Wednesday.

"This must not be mistaken for euthanasia. It is a suspension of therapies," he told a news conference in Rome. "Refusing treatment is a right."

Mr Welby had been attached to a respirator for the last six months and a feeding tube to keep him alive.

He had communicated through a computer that read his eye movements.

A judge ruled on Saturday that while Mr Welby had the constitutional right to have his life support machine switched off, doctors would be legally obliged to resuscitate him.

Euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide have been legalised in the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, but remain illegal in much of the rest of the world.

In September, Mr Welby had written to the Italian President Giorgio Napolitano pleading to be allowed to die.

Italy's Health Minister, Livia Turco, has called for new legislation to clarify the legal position on exactly which aggressive measures are licit in order to sustain life in cases like that of Mr Welby, the BBC's David Willey reports from Rome.

The Vatican teaches that life must be safeguarded from its beginning to its natural end.

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Well, I'm glad he got what he wanted.

The Vatican should keep it's mouth shut in regards to people's own lifes. :yes:

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A judge ruled on Saturday that while Mr Welby had the constitutional right to have his life support machine switched off, doctors would be legally obliged to resuscitate him.
What a pile of horsesh*t!

The Vatican teaches that life must be safeguarded from its beginning to its natural end.

And what axactly is natural about being kept alive by a bunch of machines like feeding tubes and respirators? Also horsesh*t.

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Religion belongs in churches only. No where else. Not in schools, politics, and definetly not in court.

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Update: Church denies funeral for Italian

Italy's Roman Catholic Church has denied the right to a religious funeral to a terminally ill man whose fight to die sparked a fierce euthanasia debate.

Piergiorgio Welby died in Rome on Wednesday when a doctor turned off his life support machine at his request.

Church officials said they could not grant the request of the Welby family for a funeral in his local parish.

They said Mr Welby had gone against Catholic teaching by expressing a desire to end his life.

"Welby had repeatedly and publicly affirmed his desire to end his own life, which is against Catholic doctrine," a Church statement said.

Landmark case

Mr Welby, 60, was paralysed by muscular dystrophy and his condition had worsened in recent weeks.

His plea for euthanasia - illegal in mainly Roman Catholic Italy - sparked a landmark court case and fierce debate.

But Father Marco Fibbi, a spokesman for the Rome vicar's office, said that the decision not to allow a religious funeral would send a clear signal to Catholic believers that Mr Welby's actions were not acceptable.

The doctor who turned off the life support machine has denied that his act constitutes illegal euthanasia.

Dr Mario Riccio said he had fulfilled the patient's legal right to refuse treatment.

A judge had ruled that Mr Welby had the constitutional right to have his life support machine switched off but doctors would be legally obliged to resuscitate him.

Euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide have been legalised in the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, but remain illegal in much of the rest of the world.

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So nice of the church. Wouldn't going off the machines be more natural according to the church?

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Update: Church denies funeral for Italian

Italy's Roman Catholic Church has denied the right to a religious funeral to a terminally ill man whose fight to die sparked a fierce euthanasia debate.

Piergiorgio Welby died in Rome on Wednesday when a doctor turned off his life support machine at his request.

Church officials said they could not grant the request of the Welby family for a funeral in his local parish.

They said Mr Welby had gone against Catholic teaching by expressing a desire to end his life.

"Welby had repeatedly and publicly affirmed his desire to end his own life, which is against Catholic doctrine," a Church statement said.

Landmark case

Mr Welby, 60, was paralysed by muscular dystrophy and his condition had worsened in recent weeks.

His plea for euthanasia - illegal in mainly Roman Catholic Italy - sparked a landmark court case and fierce debate.

But Father Marco Fibbi, a spokesman for the Rome vicar's office, said that the decision not to allow a religious funeral would send a clear signal to Catholic believers that Mr Welby's actions were not acceptable.

The doctor who turned off the life support machine has denied that his act constitutes illegal euthanasia.

Dr Mario Riccio said he had fulfilled the patient's legal right to refuse treatment.

A judge had ruled that Mr Welby had the constitutional right to have his life support machine switched off but doctors would be legally obliged to resuscitate him.

Euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide have been legalised in the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, but remain illegal in much of the rest of the world.

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So nice of the church. Wouldn't going off the machines be more natural according to the church?

Since when has the church been nice. That's just horrible, can they even deny giving someone a funeral?

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from the church they are so wrong on so many levels. More people should turn thier backs on the church for this, Worhip at home an in themselfs insted of supporting and funding this callous buisness, i mean they dident even help the jews when they were aware of the atrocities in ww2.

Poor man. Imagine being refused the right to a funeral of your choice..

it makes me hate the church more an more.

Edited by louie
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