Should Italy allow assisted suicide?
In Italy the debate about assisted suicide has reignited over the case of Fabio Antoniani, known as DJ Fabo, who went to a Swiss clinic for assisted dying. After a car accident in 2014 left the 40-year-old blind and tetraplegic he had urged politicians in Italy to give people like him the right to decide for themselves when to die. The Italian media is divided over the case.
No room for problems of minorities
Since the case of coma patient Eluana Englaro in 2009 politicians have ignored the issue of assisted suicide out of pure laziness, best-selling author Roberto Saviano fumes in La Repubblica:
“What has changed since Eluana's death? Only one thing. The politicians have decided that such cases are no longer any of their business. They have decided to shelve the parliamentary debate about assisted suicide. That other problems, above all economic problems, are more important in these times of crisis. They're not interested in minorities. Whether it's homosexuals, people with disabilities, foreigners, infertile couples, victims of police brutality or people who feel imprisoned in their bodies as if they were inside a cage they can no longer bear. This is our country. A country in which life must go on without obstacles, without manifest problems. We heard you, Fabio. You have demanded to be allowed to die a dignified death. There is no justification for the silence with which they have answered you.”
A media-hyped issue
The media has turned the case of DJ Fabio into an undignified spectacle, Avvenire concludes:
“In the media and in political circles this painful end made the headlines, became a public event that was put in the limelight by all the channels of communication and ideologically exploited, even before it actually ended. The goal was to underpin a preconceived hypothesis, namely the legitimacy of medical assistance when a person commits suicide, which in the end effect means euthanasia. … Regardless of whether one agrees in principle with this theory or not, the media hype over this case raises doubts about whether the right-to-die activists are really so concerned about a 'dignified life and death'. … What can and should be discussed is the patient's provision, often referred to as the living will. … Here there are pros and cons that must be taken into account. But the views we heard in the case of DJ Fabio are certainly not among them.”