bambino gesu hospital rome

Italy gives British baby citizenship for life-maintaining treatment

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Premier Giorgia Meloni on Monday afternoon urgently convened her cabinet to grant Italian citizenship to an incurable 8-month-old British baby girl. Meanwhile, a cancer sufferer went to Switzerland for assisted suicide.  

The London High Court denied transfer to Italy last week so the child, Indi Gregory, could get treatment from Rome’s Bambino Gesù Hospital. In Britain, doctors were poised to pull the plug on her life support.

The girl is gravely ill with an incurable mitochondrial disease. She was denied the possibility of being transferred to Italy by the High Court in London a few days ago. The move was aimed at continuing to keep her alive with machine support.

Thus, the little girl, who would otherwise have been unplugged at 3pm Italian time, can be admitted to the Vatican-run Bambino Gesù children’s hospital in Rome. Meloni called the urgent cabinet meeting at 14.15 to grant Indi Italian citizenship. It took the ministers just a few minutes to make Indi an Italian and hopefully save her life.

Actress denied assisted suicide in Italy dies in Switzerland

Sibilla Barbieri, an Italian woman with terminal cancer, has committed assisted suicide at a clinic in Switzerland. The health authority in Rome denied permission for her to end her suffering in this way in Italy.

The 58-year-old actress was accompanied to the clinic by her son and members of the right-to-die Luca Coscioni association.

The association has campaigned hard for people to be able to have access to assisted suicide in Italy, amid a legislative vacuum, and it has had some success, although the cases in which permission is granted are extremely limited. The woman was denied permission for assisted suicide because she was not reliant on life-support treatment, according to a medical panel.

The son and volunteers who went with her said they will report themselves to Carabinieri police on Tuesday.

Barbieri recorded a video before she died in which she blasted the decision, saying cancer patients were being discriminated against. She also said it was unfair because, while she could afford the €10,000 needed to commit assisted suicide outside Italy, many people in the same situation cannot.

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