Vatican refute John Paul II euthanasia claims

Vatican officials have rejected an Italian doctor's claims that Pope John Paul II refused artificial nutrition in the days before his death.

The late pontiff is being accused of violating Catholic teaching, according to reports in Associated Press.

In an article in the Italian journal Micromega, anaesthesiologist Dr Lina Pavanelli questioned why he was supplied with a nasal feeding tube only three days before he died. She said he was clearly in need of artificial nutrition well before then.

The Vatican announced on 30 March 2005 that John Paul had been outfitted with a nasal feeding straw.

But officials said this week that the tube had actually been inserted well before then, but that the procedure was only announced on that date.

They disclosed the information in response to the doctor's charges.

The officials said the charges should not be taken seriously because Dr Pavanelli had no access to the medical records, She based her accusations only on press releases and news reports.

At a news conference on Wednesday, Pavanelli admitted as much but maintained her core argument that he was not given adequate nutrition soon enough.

She says she assumes John Paul's doctors would have given him the option, but that he must have refused the treatment since he wasn't given it.

Vatican Rejects Charges on John Paul II (Associated Press, 27/9/07)
Was Pope's Death A Mercy Killing? (CBS News, 26/9/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
John Paul II (Wikipedia)
Gemelli Hospital (Wikipedia)

JPII relics now available (CathNews, 17/9/07)

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