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Family fights burial, saying mother is still alive

Two weeks after doctors declare death, internment in dispute

21 February, 16:59
Family fights burial, saying mother is still alive (ANSA) - Palermo, February 21 - A Sicilian family continued to fight authorities Friday for control of the body of their mother who they maintain is still alive - more than two weeks after she was declared dead.

Grazia Bruno, a 68-year-old woman with pancreatic cancer, was confirmed dead by two medical authorities on February 6, but her family has maintained she was not really dead but only appeared to have passed away.

They now want to take control of Bruno's body, to keep watch for further signs of her life.

During a long standoff with municipal authorities who have wanted to bury Bruno, the family insisted that because the body showed no decomposition or rigor mortis that normally accompanies a corpse, she was not dead.

The family appeared to give in last Friday and a funeral was performed in the town of Villagrazia di Carini near the Sicilian capital of Palermo although the coffin was not immediately buried.

However, they continued to maintain they were pushed into it, claiming: "For us, we will always regret that we buried our mother while she is still alive".