Italian woman changes mind about euthanasia after archbishop intervenes

euthanasia, assisted suicide, hospice, Switzerland

An Italian woman who was considering euthanasia has changed her mind, and she credits her archbishop for the conversion.

According to Aleteia, 74-year-old Anna Milazzo suffers from post-operative tetraplegia, a condition that has left her bed-bound. Milazzo’s pain had become so bad that she was considering traveling to Switzerland, where she would have been able to end her own life due to the country’s lenient euthanasia laws. Milazzo says that she arrived at her decision partly because she had been unable to receive the proper care and treatment for her condition due to the pandemic.

A priest who knew Milazzo, Father Massimo Ruggiani, decided to intervene. He called Cardinal Matteo Maria Zuppi, the archbishop of Bologna, and surprisingly, the Cardinal decided to personally call Milazzo on the phone.

READ: Pope Francis convinces a victim of an acid attack not to go through with assisted suicide plan

Milazzo described their conversation in an interview with the Italian paper La Nazione, saying:

Archbishop Zuppi told me: ‘I want to see you. I can’t go to Florence right now, but I will come. Fr. Massimo spoke to me about you, and in the meantime I wanted to greet you and let you know that I’m praying for you.’ I was moved. I never imagined that an archbishop would be interested in the sick and bedridden. I’m very grateful to him. I had already heard from Fr. Massimo, who also promised to talk to Mayor Nardella on the subject of additional possibilities of home care for the disabled. This is not a battle I’m fighting for me alone, but for all disabled people.

La Nazione reports that, true to his word, the Cardinal has become actively involved in fighting for better treatment and care for the terminally ill.

Milazzo’s story is a powerful reminder that often, sick and suffering people need better palliative care. Milazzo herself said that her desire to die was partially due to the fact that social services had been so difficult to work with, and would not send the care she needed. Cardinal Zuppi’s gesture showed Milazzo that someone cared, and that made all the difference.

This supports what research and reports have already shown: most people seek euthanasia because they are lonely, depressed, or don’t want to be a burden on others — not because they truly wish to die. When the sick and terminally ill are treated with dignity and respect, people start to recognize the value of all human life.

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