Eluana’s Court Approved Killing a case of “Judicial Imperialism”: Italian Prof

Leia também: Interpretação conforme a Constituição

https://biodireitomedicina.wordpress.com/2009/02/15/interpretacao-conforme-a-constituicao/

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“He also warned of the connection between the diagnosis of irreversible coma or “brain death” in connection with organ transplants.”

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“I am not against it, but I think that it no longer justifies the definition of brain death established forty years ago by the Harvard report. It must be said clearly that the donor is entered into a process of death, but is not dead yet.”

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“the definition of “brain death” was not advanced because of new scientific discoveries, but out of the desire for organ transplants to go ahead.

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“Because there are good arguments today for maintaining that brain death does not mean the real death of the individual, the consequences in the matter of transplants could be truly explosive.”

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“In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, there is no mention of the term “brain death” and it is known that when the book was being revised, the then-Cardinal Ratzinger, at that time the head of the Catholic Church’s doctrinal office, removed the words “brain death,” replacing it with “real death.”

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“How can I, an Italian citizen, receive such an honor from you, who, with your action, permitted the death of Eluana in the name of the Italian Republic?”

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“the purpose of the courts, “is to apply the laws, not the Constitution.”


By Hilary White

ROME, February 17, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A prominent Italian professor of legal philosophy has written that the Eluana Englaro case was one of “judicial imperialism” and that with the case the courts have “replaced the legislature.”

Paolo Becchi, a professor at the universities of Genoa and Luzern, wrote in Il Giornale on Sunday that the purpose of the courts, “is to apply the laws, not the Constitution.”

Becchi is referring to the court decisions that made the starvation death of Eluana Englaro possible. In November, Italy’s highest appeals court, the Court of Cassation in Rome, ruled to uphold an earlier ruling by the Appeals Court in Milan that allowed the removal of Eluana’s food and hydration.

As was the case with Terri Schiavo in Florida, Eluana’s father, Beppino Englaro, pursued his desire to dehydrate his comatose daughter to death through the courts, even while direct euthanasia remained illegal in Italy. Since the young woman’s death, the pro-euthanasia movement in Italy has been galvanized to create a law that will identify food and water as “medical treatment” that can be removed at the will of doctors or guardians acting for patients deemed to be in an “irreversible coma.”

The case threatens the rule of law in Italy, Becchi said: “The judiciary has an obligation to adhere to the codes. And if there are laws that appear to conflict with the Constitution, judges must raise the question of constitutional legitimacy.”

He asks, “Now who will save us from the government of the courts?”

The death of Eluana Englaro has not only galvanised the leftist euthanasia advocates, however, but has become a warning to others that the possibility of legalisation is a genuine threat.

One figure who has made headlines due to his protest against the movement to legalize euthanasia is 62 year-old Fr. Aldo Trento, an Italian citizen and missionary priest of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Charles Borromeo in Paraguay, where he cares for disabled patients in a clinic for the terminally ill in Asunción.

On Wednesday, Fr. Trento returned an award granted him last year by the Italian president, Giorgio Napolitano, to the Italian embassy in Asuncion. Napolitano, a former leader of Italy’s Communist Party, had refused to sign an emergency measure that would have prohibited the removal of Eluana’s food and hydration, just days before she died.

Fr. Trento told the Italian newspaper Il Foglio, “How can I, an Italian citizen, receive such an honor from you, who, with your action, permitted the death of Eluana in the name of the Italian Republic?”

Father Trento says that he feels “immense sorrow” for Englaro: “It is as if you were to say to me: ‘We’re going to take away your sick children now.'”

“I have more than one case like Eluana Englaro,” said Fr. Trento when he returned his honour, which conferred on him the title “Knight of the Order of the Star of Solidarity,”

“I think of little Victor, a child in a coma,” he said, “who clenches his fists. All we do is feed him through a tube. Faced with these situations, how can I react to the case of Eluana?”

Professor Becchi warned, however, that the threat of the Eluana case is not confined to the death of only one woman, but to the whole of Italian society. Asked by Il Giornale’s interviewer, “Who comes out worse by Englaro affair?” Becchi replied, “Doctors.”

“They were certainly allowed to do what they did. But the sense of their profession is to preserve life.

He also warned of the connection between the diagnosis of irreversible coma or “brain death” in connection with organ transplants.

“I am not against it, but I think that it no longer justifies the definition of brain death established forty years ago by the Harvard report. It must be said clearly that the donor is entered into a process of death, but is not dead yet.”

Becchi, the author of fifteen books, recently published a book titled, “Brain death and organ transplant: A question of legal ethics” in which he asserts the thesis that the definition of “brain death” was not advanced because of new scientific discoveries, but out of the desire for organ transplants to go ahead. He will be a featured speaker at a conference on “brain death criteria” to be held in Rome later this week. The conference will attempt to challenge the consensus, strongly supported even in the Vatican, approving the removal of vital organs from patients who are diagnosed to be in an irreversible coma or “brain dead,” but whose hearts are still beating.

In his book, Becchi comments, “Because there are good arguments today for maintaining that brain death does not mean the real death of the individual, the consequences in the matter of transplants could be truly explosive. And one might wonder when these will be the matter of an official statement of the Church’s position.”

The conflict over the issue in the Vatican is still raw. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, there is no mention of the term “brain death” and it is known that when the book was being revised, the then-Cardinal Ratzinger, at that time the head of the Catholic Church’s doctrinal office, removed the words “brain death,” replacing it with “real death.” But Becchi maintains that although the acceptance of the “brain death” criteria is not shared by Pope Benedict, “his hands are tied.”

“Consider that Dionigi Tettamanzi [the cardinal archbishop of Milan], is very influential in the Italian Bishops’ Conference, and is a staunch supporter of organ transplants.

“Indeed, [Tettamanzi] goes even further … To the archbishop of Milan, to donate organs is a social duty; there is no need for consensus, so the State will acquire bodies and we do not talk anymore.”

Becchi noted that the only newspaper that did not review his book opposing the “brain death” criteria and transplants was Avvenire, the newspaper of the Italian Bishops’ Conference.

Read related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:

Pro-Life Conference on “Brain Death” Criteria Will Have Uphill Climb to Sway Entrenched Vatican Position

http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/feb/09021607.html

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