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Family refuses to permit mom's burial, says she's not dead

Relatives seek third opinion after two doctors confirm death

13 February, 15:51
Family refuses to permit mom's burial, says she's not dead (ANSA) - Palermo, February 13 - A family continued to watch over the body of their mother Thursday, seven days after she was declared dead by medical authorities, and rebuffed efforts by local officials to have the woman buried.

The family of Grazia Bruno, a 68-year-old woman with pancreatic cancer, maintain she has not really died but is only in a state of apparent death, as they say she has shown no signs of decomposition or rigor mortis and is still warm.

Municipal officials say that by law, she must be buried, and presented Bruno's children with an order signed by mayor Giuseppe Agrusa in their village of Villagrazia di Carini near the Sicilian capital of Palermo.

"We have seen on the Internet many cases like my mother...people who seemed dead and instead have awakened," said her family, who have hired lawyer Gaspare Genova to help them in their battle.

Two doctors verified Bruno's death on Feb. 6, but Genova said he is now seeking a third opinion on behalf of the family.

Some neighbors claim it's a miracle.