Skip to content

Emilio Coveri, president of EXIT Italia, under investigation

The Public Prosecutor of the court of Catania (Sicily) has declared that it started an investigation regarding Emilio Coveri, president of EXIT Italy, one of the organisations which promotes the legalisation of euthanasia and assisted dying in Italy. 

The supposed accusation is that Coveri has incited mrs. Alessandra Giordano to go to the Swiss organisation in Zurich Dignitas To live with dignity – To die with dignity (Dignitas) to obtain assisted dying. His actions have violated article 580 of the Penal Code which states “Anyone who determines others to commit suicide or strengthen their intention to suicide, or in any way facilitates their execution, is punished, if suicide occurs, with imprisonment from five to twelve years”.


Giordano, a 46 years old teacher, became profoundly depressed after the death of her father in 2008 and suffered of a chronicle neuralgia (Eagle sindrome). To treat the depression she was hospitalized but apparantly the treatment was not succesful, the same for the neuralgia which was treated but the effect was only a temporary relief. The last two year she had given up her job and stayed in bed. She has discussed with her family her intention to end her life voluntary but the family was absolutly against it.


She was a member of EXIT Italia and therefore contacted Coveri who adressed her to Dignitas to obtain all the information she needed. Information which is also available in the italian language on the website of Dignitas.


After the consultation with Dignitas which took several months, on March 25 2019 she took the flight from Catania to Zurich. During the check in she met a girlfriend informing her about the scope of her trip. This friend informed immediately the family, which tried to block Giordano. Her brother sent a warning to Dignitas, attaching a certificate of her physician, stating that she was not capable, considering her actual condition, to take a similar decision. Alessandra died on 27 March 2019. The family presented a complaint at the local police office, which obliged the Public Prosecutor to start an investigation. 


This case is similar to that of Marco Cappato of the Associazione Luca Coscioni who acompanied a tetraplegic and blind discjockey djFabo to Dignitas to obtain assisted suicide. The Consitutional Court ordered the Parlament to reconsider the contents of article 580 of the Penal Code as it considers that the punishment was to severe in respect to the nature of the violation. The Parliament has to legalize before the end of next September, but the discussions are stalled in the Chamber of Representatives and it is doubtful if a law can be approved before that date. In this case the decisioni s up to the Constitutional Court.


This newsitem is created for this website by Johannes Agterberg on July 8, 2019 (Thank you!)