Last week, the debate on assisted dying in Italy got worldwide attention. Fabiano Antoniani, famous as DJ Fabo, decided he no longer wanted to live with his unbearable suffering. The debate has been especially passionate in the country where the Roman Catholic Church is of great influence. The Church sees it as the morally unacceptable killing of a person – a violation of the law of God and is therefore deeply opposed to euthanasia.
Fabiano Antoniani got paralysed after a major road accident. After he repeatedly tried to persuade the Italian Government to adapt a law which would make it possible for him to die with dignity, he found himself forced to leave the country to get assistance to die in Switzerland. Marco Cappato, a former politician and right-to-die activist, helped him realise his last travel to Switzerland. He was indicted himself after returning to Italy. He could now face criminal charge, since assisted suicide is illegal in Italy. The act of offering assistance with suicide can lead to a maximum of 12-year imprisonment.
Antoniani had appealed to President Sergio Mattarella for the right to die and, shortly before his death, had criticised Italy for failing to pass laws on end-of-life issues. The law upholds a patient’s right to refuse care and the potential contradiction has resulted in several high-profile cases which have divided Italians. A bill to clarify assisted suicide law has been postponed in Italy three times and will now again be debated by the Chamber of Deputies on the 13th of March.
The WFRtDS posted a statement on the website denouncing the indictment of Luca Coscione’s Marco Cappato:
WFRtDS denounces indictment of Luca Coscione’s Marco Cappato for assistance with suicide of DJ Fabio
When 39-year famous DJ Fabiano Antoniani after a serious car-accident had lost his sight, and became fully paralysed, he tried to persuade the Italian Government to adapt the law, in order for him “… to terminate this agony and choose for a quiet humane death”.
Despite recurrent requests, he did not receive a positive reaction. He then had no other choice but ask for help to go the “Swiss route” and had his life terminated in Switzerland in a peaceful way.
Former politician Marco Cappato voluntarily complied with the request and assisted dj Fabio in realising this last wish. Returning from Switzerland Cappato reported to the police and got indicted. Assistance with suicide may in Italy lead to maximal 12-year imprisonment.
The World Federation of Right to Die Societies
· commemorates a courageous Italian who after having his requests denied at home, sought the assistance necessary to travel to Switzerland to end his agonies;
· urges the Italian Government to listen to the voices of the Italians and adapt the law to one that recognises the choice to conditionally terminate one’s life on request;
· denounces publicly the indictment of Marco Cappato, currently one of the directors of WF member society Luca Coscione, for an act that must be considered as humane, certainly not as a criminal one.
Geneva, 1 March 2017