Marlowe's Shade

Monday, December 18, 2006

Is Dr Welby's Case in Italy Really About Euthanasia?

From Daily Telegraph

AN Italian court has overnight rejected a request by a paralysed, terminally ill man who wants doctors to take him off life support in a case that has split the predominantly Catholic country, where euthanasia is illegal.Italian court rejects euthanasia appeal
The pale, listless face of Piergiorgio Welby, 60, who suffers from advanced muscular dystrophy and is confined to bed but is lucid, has become one of the most recognised in Italy.
Speaking via a computer that interprets his eye movements, Mr Welby has appeared on news programmes and written to Italy's president asking to be taken off the respirator that keeps him alive so he can "find peace for my tortured and shattered body".
But in a 15-page verdict underscoring the legal complexity of the case, a Rome judge said that while Mr Welby had a right to have the respirator removed, that right was not "concretely safeguarded" by Italian law.

In general I don't consider shutting off a respirator euthanasia. The problem here is that the right-to-die supporters of Dr Welby intend to use this case to apply to other situations where life sustaining treatment can be legally removed. This law currently seems unfair. However Terri Schiavo never would have died at her husband's hand had she been in Italy.

My solution would be to configure the computer technology that allows Dr Welby to communicate to give him control of the power switch for his own respirator. Had nature been allowed to take its course he would have died long ago. I can't see this as suicide.


papijoe 11:09 AM