By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
An Italian woman with Multiple Sclerosis from Trieste died by assisted suicide on November 28. The Ansa.it news reported on December 12 that:
55-year-old Trieste woman committed assisted suicide by injecting herself with a lethal drug on November 28 becoming the first Italian to kill herself with the direct assistance of the national health service on the basis of a recent ruling by the Constitutional Court, the right-to-die Luca Coscioni Association said Tuesday.
The unnamed woman had been suffering from secondarily progressive multiple sclerosis and wanted to end her suffering.
This was the first Italian woman to die by assisted suicide.
In September 2019 the Italian Constitutional Court opened the door to assisted suicide. An article in the Guardian reported that the court appeared to limit the extent of the decision to people being kept alive on life-support, but the language of the decision was much wider.
The court said that a patient’s condition must be “causing physical and psychological suffering that he or she considers intolerable”.
Since the decision used the phrase “causing physical and psychological suffering that he or she considers intolerable,” and since the court did not define the parameters of the statement, I remain concerned that assisted suicide essentially applies to people with disabilities.
When studying the assisted suicide debate in Italy, you will notice that the cases have all concerned people with disabilities.
Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and reposted with permission.