In Medisch Contact– the weekly magazine of the Royal Dutch Medical Association– an article is published on the Italian situation concerning end-of-life decisions.
Direct reason to do so was the suicide of famous Italian Film Director Mario Monicelli (95), who jumped from his 5th floor hospital room. In this article author Joost Visser carefully describes the status of the current debate on “la dolce morte” (the dignified death).
The sides in the debate are miles apart. The Berlusconi Administration saw reason in Eluana Englaro’s case to design a bill prohibiting the refusal offood and fluid; although this bell never reached the state of law (Englaro died earlier), it still is on the table!
Medisch Contact interviewed Rossana Cecchi from WF member Libera Uscita.Cecchi: ”As happens many times in such cases, people go and look for their own solutions. Italy is the same as The Netherlands in the eighties: courts have to rule when laws cannot solve such problems” Effectively Italian judges, with their verdicts and just like those in The Netherlands, build the basis for later euthanasia legislation. In Italy only now the debate is on stopping futile medical treatment – it will be years before a 95 year old can have his life ended in a more humane way then jumping out of a window.
The (Dutch!) article can be download here. Unfortunately not available in English.