Marche give right-to-die permission

Paralysed man given permission for assisted suicide


A paralysed man has been given permission for medically assisted suicide by the Marche regional ethics committee. He has been bedridden for 18 years due to an irreversible condition. He first requested the right-to-die sixteen years ago.

Fabio Ridolfi has been given permission for medically assisted suicide by the Marche regional ethics committee, the right-to-die Luca Coscioni association said on Thursday. Ridolfi is paralysed, bedridden for 18 years,  and who can only move his eyes. His condition is irreversible.

The committee gave the green light on the basis of the precedent established by the case of DJ Fabo. Fabo was a tetraplegic DJ who was helped to commit suicide in a Swiss clinic by right-to-die activist Marco Cappato in 2017. Cappato is a leading member of the Coscioni association, in 2017.

The Constitutional Court cleared Cappato. Their ruling said assisted suicide could be legitimate in some cases if the person wanting to die was in intolerable suffering. It was a landmark ruling. The court also called on parliament to pass legislation dealing with end-of-life issues. This has yet to happen.

In February, the same court rejected a petition to stage a referendum on legalising euthanasia.    It said that, if the referendum were approved, “the Constitutionally necessary minimum protection of human life would not be preserved”. It referred specifically to the vulnerable.

Appealing for 16 years for right-to-die

Ridolfi, 46, made an appeal to the Italian State to help him commit assisted suicide on Wednesday, 16 years after he made his first vain appeal on TV in 2006.

The Luca Coscioni association said the decision by the ethics committee was made on April 8. However, Ridolfi was only notified of it after making the appeal. The committee had not given indications about the method of assisted suicide or the drug that should be used, the association said.

Ridolfi is the second person to be given permission for assisted suicide in Marche after the DJ Fabo precedent. The other person is a 44-year-old tetraplegic man, known only by his first name Mario. He was given permission to use a barbiturate drug called Tiopentone to end his life.

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