Italy's top court rules assisted suicide not always a crime in landmark case

26/09/2019

Italy's top court on Wednesday ruled that it should not always be punishable to help someone "under intolerable physical and psychological suffering" to commit suicide.


Anyone who "facilitates the suicidal intention... of a patient kept alive by life-support treatments and suffering from an irreversible pathology" should not be punished under certain conditions, the constitutional court ruled.

 

The patient's condition must be "causing physical and psychological suffering that he or she considers intolerable,"

it said.

 

The court was asked to examine the case of Fabiano Antoniani, aka DJ Fabo, a music producer, left tetraplegic and blind by a traffic accident five years ago. 

 

Marco Cappato, a member of Italy's Radical Party, drove Antoniani to Switzerland in February 2017 where he was helped to die, aged 40.

 

Cappato then turned himself in to Italian authorities after his "act of civil disobedience" to highlight what he saw as an unjust law.

 

Cappato hailed the ruling in a tweet: "Those who are in Fabo's condition have the right to be helped. From today we are all more free, even those who disagree. It is a victory of civil disobedience, while the (political) parties turned their heads away"...

 

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