Italian assisted suicide court decisions focus on people with disabilities

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

An Italian court has acquitted assisted suicide activists Marco Cappato and Mina Welby in the assisted suicide death of Davide Trentini in the April 2017 which took place in the Dignitas assisted suicide clinic death in Switzerland.

Cappato and Welby, who are leaders of the Luca Coscioni assisted suicide Association in Italy, turned themselves into Italian authorities the day after Trentini died by assisted suicide in order to challenge the law.

The judgement does not directly challenge the law.

The judge decided that they did not break the law because they did not instigate the act. Based on this decision, the law continues to apply to someone, such as a physician, who instigates the act.

Last December a Milan court acquitted Italian assisted suicide activist, Marco Cappato, in the assisted suicide death of Fabiano Antoniani (known as DJ Fabo), in February 2017. Similar to Trentini, Antoniani died at the Dignitas assisted suicide clinic in Switzerland

The decision in the Fabiano Antoniani case was also unclear.

What is clear is that both assisted suicide deaths concerned people with disabilities. Davide Trentini was living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Fabiano Antoniani experienced a spinal cord injury in a serious car accident in June 2014.

I am very concerned with the direction of the Italian court decisions that appear to suggest that certain lives are not worth living.

Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.