Rome, Nov 18, 2008 / 04:06 pm (CNA).- The president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, said this week that Italy’s “Terri Schiavo,” Eluana Englaro, “has been condemned to die of hunger and thirst because she has been living in a vegetative state for many years. Let us hope that at the last minute this decision will be reconsidered and ideology will not completely blind consciences.”
According to the SIR news agency, the cardinal made his comments at the conclusion of a Mass for the 27th Congress of the Centers for Aid to Life. The case he was referring to involves a 37 year-old Italian whose feeding tubes have been removed after the Supreme Court ruled her father had the right to disconnect them to bring about her death. The case is being compared to what happened in the U.S. with Terri Schiavo, who died thirteen days after her tube was removed.
Cardinal Antonelli said, “Eluana is in a ‘vegetative state,’ but she is not a vegetable. She is a person who is sleeping,” he said. “The person, also when she is sleeping or disabled, retains all of her dignity. The person is valuable in herself, not for what she produces or consumes, or for the pleasure or satisfaction she gives to others.” MORE