The Englaro Case: Withdrawal of Treatment from a Patient in a Permanent Vegetative State in Italy

Abstract
The international media recently reported the case of Eluana Englaro, a 38-year-old woman in a permanent vegetative state who died in February 2009 following withdrawal of her feeding tube. At the time of her death, she had been unconscious for 17 years. For many years, her father had been seeking permission to allow her to die. His request was rejected by the courts several times on different grounds, until the Italian Supreme Court finally granted it. The case caused considerable political turmoil. The government, the president, the Constitutional Court, and the European Court of Human Rights got involved. This paper gives an account of the history of the case, enriched by personal communications with the people directly involved and a memoir by the father of Eluana
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