Court ruling may force legalisation of euthanasia in Italy

Mina Welby (Wikimedia/Mattia Luigi Nappi)

The acquittal of two right-to-die activists who aided in the suicide of a person suffering from multiple sclerosis may force the Italian Government to legalise assisted suicide. Source: Crux.

A court in the Tuscan province of Massa-Carrara ruled on Monday to acquit Mina Welby and Marco Cappato for helping Davide Trentini commit suicide in April 2017 at Dignitas, a physician-assisted suicide clinic in Switzerland.

The court judged that no crime was committed by Ms Welby and Mr Cappato because they did not “instigate” Mr Trentini’s suicide.

The day after helping Mr Trentini commit suicide, Ms Welby and Mr Cappato turned themselves over to Italian authorities in a strategic move that seeks to challenge Italy’s penal code which prohibits euthanasia.

According to Article 580 of the code, assisting or convincing someone to commit suicide “is punishable with a sentence between five and 12 years if the suicide occurs, or between one to five years if it does not occur but results in serious or very serious personal injury”.

In December, the Italian Constitutional Court delayed a decision that would determine the constitutionality of Article 580. Euthanasia advocates believe that the recent acquittal will help push the court to legalise physician-assisted suicide in the country.

The acquittal mirrors a similar ruling in 2019 involving Mr Cappato after he was acquitted in the assisted suicide of an Italian DJ at the same facility in Switzerland.

FULL STORY

Italy: Controversial verdict may force legalization of assisted suicide (By Junno Arocho Esteves, CNS via Crux)

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