Saturday, February 28, 2009

Roman Catholic News

After Long Battle, Woman Allowed to Die
posted: 23 DAYS 22 HOURS AGOcomments: 657filed under: Health News, World NewsPrintShareText SizeAAA

ROME (Feb. 4) - A woman at the center of a right-to-die debate in Italy was transferred Tuesday to a hospital where she is to be allowed to die after 17 years in a vegetative state. Anti-euthanasia activists heckled the ambulance crew that moved her, with some shouting, "Don't Kill Her."
The Catholic church and pro-life activists have mounted a campaign to keep Eluana Englaro alive, denouncing what they say would be her execution. Others contend that Englaro's father is trying to give her the dignified death she had sought.
Her nighttime transfer on Tuesday reignited a bitter national debate.
The Englaro case has drawn comparisons in Italy with that of Terry Schiavo, the American woman who was at the center of a right-to-die debate until her death in 2005. Schiavo's husband, who wanted her feeding tube removed against her parents' wishes, prevailed in a polarizing battle in the United States that reached Congress, then-President George W. Bush and the Supreme Court.
In 2007, the Vatican also joined the debate, condemning Schiavo's death as "arbitrarily hastened" and calling the removal of her feeding tube a violation of the principles of Christianity and civilization.
This weekend, Pope Benedict XVI said euthanasia is a "false solution" to suffering. His health minister, Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, told La Repubblica newspaper that removing Englaro's feeding tube "is tantamount to an abominable assassination, and the church will always say that out loud."
Englaro was transferred by ambulance to the northeastern city of Udine from Lecco, where she had been cared for, in the early hours of Tuesday, said family lawyer Vittorio Angiolini.
A small crowd of anti-euthanasia activists gathered and heckled the ambulance as it was leaving Lecco. Some of the activists shouted slogans such as "Eluana, Wake Up!" "Don't Kill Her!" and "Eluana Is Alive." Englaro has been in a vegetative state since a car accident in 1992, when she was 20. Her father has led a protracted court battle to disconnect her feeding tube, insisting it was her wish.
An Italian court in the summer granted his request, setting off a political storm in this Roman Catholic country.
Her father sought to have her removed from the Catholic clinic in Lecco to Udine, in the region where the family is from. But the government issued a decree last month telling state hospitals that they must guarantee care for people in vegetative states, leading at least one hospital in Udine to refuse to take Englaro.
Eventually, the private facility La Quiete in Udine agreed to take her.
Angiolini refused to discuss what steps would now be taken to end Englaro's life. News reports said that the procedure to disconnect her feeding tube would begin in a few days and would take weeks to conclude.
Amato De Monte, the anesthetist who escorted Englaro on the ambulance, said she was very different from the youthful woman who has been presented in the media.
He defended the clinic's choice in the face of mounting criticism, saying in an interview to RAI state TV: "Eluana will not suffer because Eluana died 17 years ago."
Some in the conservative government of Premier Silvio Berlusconi have criticized the move, and Welfare Minister Maurizio Sacconi said the government was investigating the transfer.
By law, Italy does not allow euthanasia.
Patients have a right to refuse treatment, but there is no law that allows them to give advance directions on what treatment they wish to receive if they become unconscious.
Many have urged parliament to adopt legislation to fill the hole. But the issue is charged with emotions and religious overtones, and positions differ even within the same political bloc.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. Active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.
2009-02-03 12:05:58

Here's another article of interest:

Priest Who Aided Lepers to Become Saint
posted: 6 DAYS 9 HOURS AGOcomments: 658filed under: World NewsPrintShareText SizeAAA

VATICAN CITY (Feb. 21) - A 19th-century Belgian priest who ministered to leprosy patients in Hawaii, and died of the disease, will be declared a saint this year at a Vatican ceremony presided over by Pope Benedict XVI.
The Rev. Damien de Veuster's canonization date of Oct. 11 was set Saturday. Born Joseph de Veuster in 1840, he took the name Damien and went to Hawaii in 1864 to join other missionaries of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Nine years later, he began ministering to leprosy patients on the remote Kalaupapa peninsula of Molokai island, where some 8,000 people had been banished amid an epidemic in Hawaii in the 1850s.
The priest eventually contracted the disease, also known as Hansen's disease, and died in 1889 at age 49.
"He went there (to Hawaii) knowing that he could never return," The Rev. Alfred Bell, who spearheaded Damien's canonization cause, told Vatican Radio. "He suffered a lot, but he stayed."
De Veuster was beatified — a step toward sainthood — in 1995 by Pope John Paul II. The Vatican's saint-making procedures require that a miracle attributed to the candidate's intercession be confirmed in order for him or her to be beatified. De Veuster was beatified after the Vatican declared that the 1987 recovery of a nun of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary was a miracle. The nun recovered after praying to Damien.
After beatification, a second miracle is needed for sainthood.
In July, Benedict declared that a Honolulu woman's recovery in 1999 from terminal lung cancer was the miracle needed for de Veuster to be made a saint.
The Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints said Audrey Toguchi's 1999 recovery from lung cancer defied medical explanation. Toguchi, too, had prayed to Damien.
The Vatican announced the date for Damien's canonization and that of nine others. Five will be declared saints at a ceremony April 26, with the rest, including Damien, on Oct. 11.
Bell said Damien's concern for others was a model for all the faithful today, particularly the young.
"Father Damien's example helps us to not forget those who are forgettable in the world," he said.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. Active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.
2009-02-21 12:17:13

1 comment:

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