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La Repubblica - Italy | Monday, February 9, 2009

Hands off this defenceless body

The Berlusconi government and Italian President Giorgi Napolitano are at loggerheads over the question of whether Eluana Englaro, who has been in a vegetative state for 17 years, should be allowed to die. The left-liberal daily La Repubblica calls for an end to this political struggle over a defenceless body: "This is not about Eluana. … And it is no longer about the right to life or a dignified death, about religious morals or secular ethics, about God or the state. What we are seeing here is a dramatic battle between institutions and it's obvious that the one responsible for this conflict will continue to use this body for political ends – whether the body is finally allowed to rest in peace or is forced by the dark cruelty of power interests to return to the inhuman captivity of artificially sustained bodily functions."

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