An Italian doctor is claiming that Pope John Paul II’s 2005 death was hastened by measures that would qualify as euthanasia—a practice the Catholic Church condemns. She believes the Vatican stressed the Pope’s breathing problems in public reports to conceal the real threat to his life, which was difficulty swallowing. A feeding tube was finally inserted days before his death—intentionally too late, she claims.
She believes, moreover, that the pope himself refused the feeding tube earlier. The Vatican quickly rejected the accusations in Micromega, an Italian bi-monthly, Time reports. The doctor used her expertise, television and press reports, and a book by the pope’s doctor as evidence. She published her conclusions after the Vatican took a hard line against euthanasia last year, including the withholding of food and water.