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Italy Constitutional Court endorses removal of feeding tube from comatose woman

[JURIST] Italy's Constitutional Court [official website, in Italian] has rejected [decision text, in Italian] a parliamentary challenge to a Milan appeals court decision holding that doctors can remove the feeding tube of Eluana Englaro [materials, in Italian], a young woman who has been in a vegetative state for 16 years. In a decision issued Wednesday the court specified the interruption of treatment can only be used where "the condition of vegetative state is irreversible and there is no medical basis, according to internationally recognized standards, to suggest the person has the slightest chance of recovery." AFP has more. La Repubblica has local coverage.

Eluana Englaro, had been in a coma since an automobile accident in 1992. Her father, Beppino Englaro, has been trying to get her feeding tube removed since 1999. In 2005, the Constitutional Court upheld a lower court's ruling to keep her feeding tube in place [Reuters report], because they could find no specific evidence on Englaro's view of life and death.

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