Italian court allows feeding tube removal

July 9, 2008 at 2:50 PM
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ROME, July 9 (UPI) -- An Italian appeals court ruled Wednesday that the feeding tube can be removed from a woman who has been in a coma since a 1992 car crash.

The court agreed with Eluano Englaro's father, who argued that his daughter, before the crash, had said she wouldn't want to be kept alive in a vegetative state and that she wasn't going to regain consciousness, ANSA, the Italian news agency, reported.

The decision could be appealed to the Court of Cassation, Italy's highest court. That court appears likely to uphold the appeals court ruling since it ordered a retrial last year after a Milan court refused to grant the father's request.

Beppino Englaro of Lecco in Lombardy has been trying to get the feeding tube removed since 1999. He has said he fears what would happen to his daughter, now 35, if she survives him, ANSA said.

Englaro and Franco Alessi, the daughter's court-appointed guardian, are expected to wait 60 days before removing the feeding tube, allowing the appeals period to expire.

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