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The controversy over the right to die of Eluana Englaro is really a battle over religious beliefs and secondarily about the law of Italy.

This case is being used as a football in a struggle for moral power by the Vatican over the rules of life and death.

All over the world, people nowadays want the individual right to choices in their dying. Switzerland has had such a law since 1940, Holland and Belgium since 2002, Luxembourg since 2008. In Catholic Colombia the courts have legalized euthanasia, although the Senate has not.

In America the states of Oregon (1994) and Washington (2009) have death with dignity laws, and Montana looks like following suit shortly.

Other countries, notably New Zealand, Australia, Spain and Britain, are debating law reform seriously. It will happen there in the not too distant future.

The Eluana Englaro affair is a last desperate attempt by the Vatican to hold the line against nations who are progressing toward the ultimate civil liberty — the right to choose to die in your own manner.

–Derek Humphry

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