'It Is About Dignity': In Italy, the Debate on Euthanasia Continues

​After the death of Fabiano Antoniani, a.k.a. DJ Fabo, in Switzerland in February, an activist from the Association Luca Coscioni is reviving the debate around the law on assisted suicide in Italy.
After years of therapy, 40-year-old DJ Fabo, blind and quadriplegic after a street accident, begged the Italian Parliament several times to discuss the law on euthanasia. His wish was to die with dignity in his own country, but his appeal wasn’t heard.

Despite the fact that courts of law and the court of public opinion (80 percent, according to a recent survey) are in favor of a review of the law on euthanasia, a review is still blocked in Parliament, largely because of the opposition of Catholic deputies.

Let patients and their doctors decide

What Marco Cappato is asking for is a review of the Italian law on the living wills. These wills allow a patient, while conscious, to dictate that, should something happen that incapacitates them, all vital assistance must be stopped and doctors must let them die, which is passive euthanasia: the liberty of choice when one’s won’t be able to express this choice anymore.

Fabiano Antoniani, aka DJ Fabo, passed away in Switzerland in February. His appeals to the Italian Parliament for a debate on euthanasia helped revive the issue in Italy.

But Cappato also asks in his appeal to review the law on assisted suicide - what happened to Fabo: a patient, who is conscious but not necessarily dying, may in consultation with their doctor decide to receive a lethal injection, which could be administered by the patient.

Cappato would also like a review of active euthanasia, which is the ending of the life of a patient by a lethal injection carried out by the doctor.

To die with dignity, Italians go abroad

Every year, over 200 Italians leave their country to die abroad, according to one survey. But dying abroad isn’t possible for everyone: according to Cappato, it costs around €10,000 to receive assisted suicide in Switzerland.

"It is about dignity," Cappato says.