CATANIA, October 6, 2005 ( -Â When Salvatore Crisafulli, 38, awoke Monday from a two-year long coma, his first word, according to his mother, was “Mamma.” Crisafulli was declared “nearly dead” by doctors after a serious auto accident that left him unresponsive.

His physicians, guided by modern bioethics movement that frequently rates personal autonomy above the value of life, gave up treating him and his family became his primary caregivers.

Crisafulli, a father of four, told Italian media through his brother, that he had heard and understood everything going on around him for two years and had been unable to respond. “I cried in desperation,” he said.

His brother Pietro said, “My brother speaks and remembers. I don’t expect that he will be like he was, but it’s already a miracle.”“And to think that some doctors said that it was all useless and that he would be dead in three, four months,” he continued.

Crisafulli’s case highlights a decision – made the same day Crisafulli “woke up,”– by the Italian National Bioethics Committee to recommend that the state must make it mandatory that such patients not be starved or dehydrated to death as in the US court-ordered death of Terri Schiavo earlier this year. The Italian committee holds an advisory position to government equivalent to that of the President’s Council on Bioethics in the US.

The decision of the National Bioethics Committee flies in the face of the decision of many countries, Canada included, that says the delivery of food and water by any means other than mouth is “extraordinary medical treatment,” which may be withheld. Committee president, Francesco D’Agostino said, “To feed an unconscious patient through a tube is not a medical act.

“It’s like giving a bottle to a newborn baby who can’t be nursed by its mother …Â And then we reflect on the Schiavo case. The woman was left to die of starvation,” he said.

Reuters news service, known for consistent bias favoring euthanasia and abortion, reported, “Even though the case is not medically comparable, his brother called Crisafulli ‘an Italian Terri Schiavo case’” The conclusion Reuters implies, is that the judicial murder of Schiavo was justified because, “many exams showed her brain was barely functioning.”

Read Reuters coverage:



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