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Eluano Englara's "Gentle Death"

Posted Feb 19 2009 6:05pm
We keep hearing from those who support dehydration that taking food and water away from cognitively disabled patients leads to a "gentle death." I have written debunking this fallacy, but here is a reporter's take on Eluana's death so you can judge for yourself. From the story:
Twenty-four hours later came the first complications. On Saturday afternoon, Eluana had difficulty breathing and her mucous membranes were dry. Nurses sprayed water with a nebuliser. On Sunday, the situation got worse. The nurses turned her over every two hours and sprayed her mucous membranes with more water. Marinella Chirico, a RAI journalist who saw Eluana, reported that she was "unrecognisable, there are abrasions on her ears". Eluana was already under sedation with Delorazepam, injected subcutaneously. On Monday, her condition deteriorated rapidly. The distress log opens at one o'clock in the morning. "Eluana is lying on her left side"; "at 4 a.m. on her right side"; at 8 a.m. she "is again supine". "At 10.15 a.m., the mucous membranes are again dry" and the nurses moistened her lips with water droplets. Sedation continued. That afternoon, Eluana's temperature rose. She was weak, breathing with extreme difficulty and still under sedation. She had no more urine. At 7.35 p.m., Eluana's heart stopped beating. The clinic declared cardiac arrest caused by renal failure.
Gentle. Peaceful. Dignified.
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