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Pope decries euthanasia as Italy court considers assisted suicide

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Pope Francis on Friday again spoke out against assisted suicide and euthanasia, days before a top Italian court is to examine the thorny question in the largely Roman Catholic country.

“We can and we must reject the temptation, which is also favored by legislative changes, to use medicine to satisfy a sick person’s possible wish to die,” the pope told a delegation from the Italian Doctors Order.

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Italy’s Constitutional Court has called a session for Tuesday to reexamine the question of potentially legalising assisted suicide, without mentioning euthanasia.

The court last October gave parliament a year to fill a legal void on the question, but MPs have not done so.

A new government was sworn in last week after a month of political chaos and debating assisted suicide is not one of its priorities.

“The current legal framework concerning the end of life deprives specific situations… of adequate protection,” the court wrote last year.

The court was asked to weigh in on the case of Fabiano Antoniani, aka DJ Fabo, a music producer, traveller and motocross driver left tetraplegic and blind by a 2014 traffic accident.

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Marco Cappato, a member of Italy’s Radical Party, drove Antoniani to Switzerland in February 2017 where he was helped to die, aged 40.

Cappato then turned himself in to Italian authorities after his “act of civil disobedience” to highlight what he saw as an unjust law.

He pointed out that assisted suicide was reserved for those with the physical and financial means to travel to Switzerland, where assisted suicide is legal.

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“I feel like I’m in a cage. I would like to choose to die without suffering,” Antoniani had written to Italian President Sergio Mattarella before his death in Switzerland.

A Milan court is trying Capatto on the charge of “instigating or assisting suicide”, but asked the Constitutional Court to clarify the current law.

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The high court, which has no legislative power, is unlikely to rule on the matter when it sits on Tuesday, but could refer the question to parliament again.


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Dr. Fauci: Trump officials are only hurting the president with their ‘bizarre’ attacks on public health experts

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, hit back on Wednesday at officials within the Trump administration who have been trying to undermine him.

In an interview with The Atlantic, Fauci said it was strange to see the president's loyalists publicly attacking him and other public health experts.

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Trump’s push to reopen schools appears to be blowing up in his face: polls

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President Donald Trump has been adamant that schools reopen in the fall, although he has given little to no guidance for how to do so in a way that won't lead to further eruptions of the novel coronavirus.

However, Business Insider reports that the president's rush to get schools open may already be coming back to bite him.

As evidence, the publication cited several national polls that show opposition to Trump's plans.

"A Politico/Morning Consult national tracking poll released on Wednesday found that 53% of voters oppose 'fully reopening' daycares and K-12 schools, 50% oppose a full reopening of colleges and universities, and 65% oppose Trump's threats to pull federal funding from schools that don't re-open," Business Insider writes.

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Scientists fear the US could be battered by a second pandemic while still fighting COVID-19: report

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When health experts warn about the possibility of the United States suffering a “double whammy” with coronavirus, they are likely referring to two COVID-19 waves: the first wave (which has recently taken a turn for the worse in many Sun Belt states) followed by a possible second wave later this year in the fall and the winter. That’s how the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918/1919 behaved: it was brutal during the spring but even more brutal when a second wave killed millions in the fall and the winter. But in a July 15 article for The Atlantic, journalist Ed Yong describes a different type of double whammy scenario: one in which the U.S. continues to be battered by COVID-19 while a separate coronavirus emerges and inflicts widespread misery.

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