Italy: Man Suffers First Legally Approved Assisted Suicide | News | DW

A 44-year-old man died by medically assisted suicide in Italy on Thursday, the first such case in the country.

While it’s technically against the law to help someone take their own life in Italy, the country’s Constitutional Court ruled in 2019 that there could be certain exceptions — albeit under strict conditions.

last emotional words

The man, identified after his death as Federico Carboni, passed away on Thursday after self-administering a lethal drug cocktail through a special machine.

His family and friends were with him when he passed away.

Carboni’s death was announced by Associação Luca Coscioni, a euthanasia campaign group that helped him take his case to courts and health authorities.

The 44-year-old former truck driver was paralyzed from the neck down 10 years ago after a traffic accident.

“I do not deny that I regret having said goodbye to life,” he said before his death by the Luca Coscioni Association.

“I’ve done everything I can to live the best I can and try to make the most of my disability, but now I’m at the end of my rope, both mentally and physically,” said Carboni.

As a quadriplegic, he required 24-hour care, leaving him dependent on others and lacking independence, he said – making him feel like a “boat drifting in the ocean”.

“Now I’m finally free to fly wherever I want,” he said.

long court battle

In 2019, Italy’s Supreme Court cleared the way for assisted suicide in some cases. The issue faced strong opposition from the Roman Catholic Church and conservative parties.

The court outlined some requirements that must be met to be considered assisted suicide. For example, it should be clear that a patient cannot be cured, is dependent on life-sustaining means, and that the patient is experiencing “intolerable” mental and physical pain.

A patient must also be fully capable of making their own decisions and understanding the consequences.

Carboni received permission from an ethics committee last November after overcoming an initial refusal from health officials and taking his case to court. He was the first person in the country to gain legal approval.

He then had to raise €5,000 ($5,200) to cover the medicines and special equipment needed to end his life. The Luca Coscioni Association launched a crowdfunding effort to raise money.

“We will continue to fight so that similar obstructions and violations of patients’ will are not repeated,” the association said in a statement.

Assisted suicide has been allowed in Switzerland for decades. The practice is also legal in several other countries, including the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Spain and Belgium.

If you are suffering from severe emotional strain or suicidal thoughts, do not hesitate to seek professional help. You can find information on where to find this help, no matter where you live in the world, at this website: https://www.befrienders.org/

rs/msh (AP, AFP, dpa)

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