Italy Embroiled in Right-to-Die Uproar

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said in a statement that it was with "profound sadness" that he learned of Eluana Englaro's death "and great regret that the government's effort to save a life had been made impossible."

The strong feelings stirred up by Beppino Englaro's battle and Eluana Englaro's death went beyond politics even.

Enrico Mentana, one of Italy's more prominent news anchors, tendered his resignation when his network Canale 5, which belongs to Berlusconi, refused his request for a news special on Eluana Englaro's death. Canale 5 broadcast the "Big Brother" reality show instead.

The case of Eluana Englaro bears close similarities, both personal and political, to that of Terry Schiavo, the American woman who died in 2005 after a similar heated debate over the right to die.

Although then-President George W. Bush returned from his ranch in Texas to sign a bill allowing a review of her case, her feeding tube was not reinserted, a decision that was upheld by the Supreme Court.

Eluana Englaro's death made banner headlines in Monday's papers and dominated newscasts and talk shows in Italy; the debate and the accusations are not likely to die down soon.

Rome's right-wing mayor has announced that the Colosseum will be lit all night today in a sign of mourning for "a life that could and should have been saved."

The Colosseum has become a symbol of the fight against capital punishment and since 1999 has been lit every time a death sentence has been commuted somewhere in the world.

In all this noise, it is Beppino Englaro's silence that stands out.

"Yes, she has left us, but I have nothing to say. I just want to be left alone," he told ANSA.

There will be no funeral for Eluana Englaro, just a blessing at the family tomb.

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