Legalisation of Euthanasia in Italy at a Standstill

The debate on euthanasia in Italy goes on, while a handful of MPs from the current ruling alliance could make a difference in the debate.

Legislative deadlock

Three different bills on the legalisation of euthanasia are still pending in the Italian Parliament. The first one is from the citizens’ initiative and dates back to September 2013. It is backed by CILD's member Associazione Luca Coscioni. The second one was tabled by the left-wing Democratic Party, and the third one was drafted by a senator from the Five-Star Movement. A fourth legislative proposal has been tabled by a left-wing deputy, although under this draft euthanasia would still be considered a criminal offence.

Parliament continues to show how timid it is in addressing this issue. This trend might change though, given the new political balance that has been reached since the most recent elections.

The battle continues in the courts

The political debate on euthanasia has been fuelled by the the trial involving Marco Cappato, the treasurer of Associazione Luca Coscioni, who has been prosecuted for helping Fabiano Antoniani go to Switzerland to end his own life. Providing this kind of assistance is still a criminal offence in Italy. However, the Constitutional Court has suspended the criminal proceedings on this case, ordering Parliament to provide new legislative measures on euthanasia by September 2019.