Assisted suicide, the first historical yes in Italy. “I feel lighter”, were his first words. “I have emptied myself of all the tension accumulated over the years”. Mario (invented name), a quadriplegic patient from the Marche who has been immobilized for 10 years, is “the first patient to obtain the green light for assisted suicide in Italy”, explains the Luca Coscioni association. The man had asked the local hospital over a year ago to have his health conditions checked in order to legally access a lethal drug in Italy to put an end to his suffering, retraces the association. This is the beginning of the procedure foreseen in application of the sentence of the Constitutional Court n. 242/2019 which indicates the non-punishable conditions of assisted suicide aid.
After the denial of the single regional health authority Marche (Asur), a first and a second final decision of the Court of Ancona, two legal warnings to Asur Marche, Mario obtained the opinion of the Ethics Committee, which following verification of his conditions through a group of medical specialists appointed by Asur, confirmed that he meets the requirements for legal access to assisted suicide. The methods of implementation remain to be identified now, the association points out.
“The ethics committee – explained Filomena Gallo, Mario’s co-defender and secretary of the Luca Coscioni Association – examined the report of the doctors who in recent weeks certified the presence of the 4 conditions established by the Constitutional Court in the Cappato-Dj Fabo sentence : Mario is kept alive by life-sustaining treatments; he suffers from an irreversible disease, a source of physical or psychological suffering that he deems intolerable; he is fully capable of making free and informed decisions; and it is not his intention to use other health treatments for pain and deep sedation. It is very serious that it took a long time – Gallo warned – but finally for the first time in Italy an ethics committee has confirmed for a sick person, the existence of the conditions for assisted suicide ” .
Now, the lawyer continued, “on Mario’s indication we will proceed with the response to Asur Marche and the ethics committee, for the part that concerns the modalities for implementing the choice” of the patient, “so that the Constitutional sentence and the decision of the Court of Ancona are respected. We will provide, in collaboration with an expert, the details of the methods of self-administration of the drug suitable for Mario, based on his conditions. The sentence of the Constitutional Court places the sole task of verifying on the public structure of the national health service of these procedures after obtaining the opinion of the territorially competent ethics committee “.
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