Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Res Ipsa Loquitur (With a Vengeance)!

[For previous posts:  here and here.]

New York Times
December 23, 2006

Italy: Church Funeral Denied in Right-To-Die Case


The Roman Catholic Church denied a religious funeral for Piergiorgio Welby, the muscular dystrophy patient at the center of a debate on euthanasia who died this week after a doctor disconnected his respirator, saying it would treat his public wish to “end his life” as a willful suicide. In his high-profile case, Mr. Welby had said he was not seeking to commit suicide but to remove himself from medical treatment he did not want. His widow, Mina, who defended the doctor’s decision, said the family would hold a lay funeral for him tomorrow. The family said they learned of the Rome Diocese’s decision to withhold a religious funeral when they tried to make arrangements with their local parish. “I won’t deny that I was furious,” said his sister, Carla. She said the decision would be hard for her mother. “I don’t know with what words we will tell her that she can’t hold a funeral for her son in church,” she said. The church opposes euthanasia. In many apparent suicides, it allows funerals on the assumption that the deceased was not of sound mind. The office of the Vicar of Rome said it had refused a funeral for Mr. Welby because of his “repeated and publicly affirmed” desire to “end his life.”


Perry, Michael | Permalink

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