Veneto’s regional health authority and ethics committee on Friday approved a request for assisted suicide by a 78-year-old woman with terminal cancer. She filed her plea on the basis of the Constitutional Court’s recent ‘Cappato ruling’.
On Friday, a woman with terminal cancer received permission for assisted suicide in Veneto. She filed her request under the ‘Cappato ruling’, named after right-to-die campaigner Marco Cappato, which says assisted suicide is permissible in certain circumstances.
The ruling came after three other Italian regions, Marche, Umbria and Friuli, turned down similar requests by terminally ill patients wishing to end their lives.
Filomena Gallo, secretary of the Luca Coscioni right-to-die association and coordinator of the woman’s legal team, said “after the obstructionism registered in Marche, Umbria and Friuli Venezia Giulia, the Veneto Region has distinguished itself by the correct application of the Constitutional Court’s sentence on the Cappato case, which makes assisted suicide not liable to prosecution in determined conditions”.
However, Le Marche did finally give permission for a paralysed man to receive euthanasia in May 2022.
The Veneto ruling was the second in the region around Venice and the fourth in Italy.
What is the Cappato ruling?
“Rather than being acquitted for a help deemed irrelevant” said Marco Cappato on 17 January 2018 before the Milan Tribuna “while it was crucial, I would rather be condemned. A different matter would have been to be acquitted because of the unconstitutionality of the crime. If I am acquitted,we would need to accept that only those who are able to go to Switzerland can be free to choose how to end their life”.Marco Cappato at his trial, 2017/218
On 8 November 2017, the trial against Marco Cappato, Treasurer of the Associazione Luca Coscioni, started. Marco Cappato was prosecuted for having assisted Dj Fabo to travel to Switzerland to obtain assisted suicide. Italy’s Constitutional Court met on 23 October 2018 to discuss the issue of constitutionality raised by the Court of Appeal of Milan. The court adjourned the next day.
DJ Fabiano was a tetraplegic, blind DJ. Cappato took him to Switzerland to have his life ended.
In September 2019, Italy’s Constitutional Court ruled it was not always a crime to help someone in “intolerable suffering” kill themselves. In 2022, the same court rejected an appeal for a referendum on the matter.
The court cleared Cappato of all charges. Italy became the first southern-European country to permit euthanasia under certain circumstances.