Suicide assisted by the National Health Service for the first time in Italy

For the first time in Italy the assisted suicide through National Health Service who provided the lethal drug and a supporting doctor. To die one woman from Trieste 55 year old afflicted by an incurable disease who had been asking for access to voluntary assisted dying for a year. The case was followed byLuca Coscioni association.

Assisted suicide: Anna’s story

The lady is passed away last November 28th at his house. Her details are not known as she herself had asked that they not be revealed. As he writesHandle, the woman first turned to the relevant local health authority, without success. She subsequently turned to the Court of Trieste which ordered the start of checks. At the end of the process, the NHS provided ad Anna (this is the fictitious name you chose) the drug to be taken self-administered, with the support of a doctor. In her last message, she reiterated her love for life and claimed the autonomy of her choice: “I am free todayit would have been real torture not to have the freedom to choose.”

In 2010 the lady from Trieste was diagnosed with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis. In her final years she was completely dependent on assistance and could only express herself in a whisper. Her mind, however, was still clear and present.

On 4 November 2022 he sent toAsugi (Giuliano Isontina University Health Company) the request to verify his conditions to request the start of procedures that would have led to assisted death. There was no response to the request, so after months of waiting the woman decided to file one complaint to the Carabinieri for refusal/omission of official documents. At the same time, he had filed an urgent appeal to the civil judge. The ball is thus passed to the court of Trieste, who asked Asugi to carry out an investigation. In September 2023 the multidisciplinary medical commission finally gave the go ahead for access to assisted suicide.

The drug was self-administered

To the lady “the lethal drug and the equipment were provided by the NHS and a doctor identified by the health company, on a voluntary basis, took steps to support the action requested within the scope and within the limits established by the precautionary order pronounced by the Court of Trieste on 4 July and therefore without directly intervening in the administration of the drug, an action which remained the exclusive responsibility of the woman”. These are the clarifications of the Luca Coscioni association, reported by Sun 24 Hours.

The Coscioni association specifies that the woman is “the Italian premiere to have completed the procedure required by the Consulta with the so-called CappatoAntoniani ruling of 2019“.

Anna is “the first sick person who has seen recognition, by the doctors in charge of carrying out checks on the conditions, that continuous assistance to the person is vital assistance, as well as non-exclusive mechanical dependence guaranteed through the use of ventilatory support during the hours of sleep at night,” said Filomena Gallo, lawyer and secretary of the association.
“The right to choose at the end of life is slowly being established, despite obstructionism and ideological resistance that are increasingly distant from popular sentiment,” added Marco Cappato, who is treasurer of the Coscioni association.

Legislative proposals on the end of life

The association is promoting the “Free Now” campaign for the introduction of regional laws that introduce certain times and procedures for accessing medically assisted suicide. The deputy of the Democratic Party Debora Serracchiani presented one bill in the House at the end of life.