The Italian Senate passed the law allowing severely ill people to refuse life-extending treatment on December 14, the Reuters reports.
The Act provides the right to any adult to prepare a document or a video recording in the case of becoming disabled or seriously ill. This “will” can contain a person’s willingness regarding the means and methods of possible treatment, up to the point of not receiving nutrition or medicines.
However, if the patient refuses treatment, the doctor should still be obliged to reduce his suffering; the doctor also has the right to use sedatives. The law provides doctors with the opportunity to object on reasons of conscience or religion.
The bill was approved by 180 votes with active opposition from opposing right-wing parties, voting “against” with 71 voices.
Agreement between the two largest parties of the Parliament made it possible to adopt the law. The center-left Democratic Party (In Italian, Partito Democratico-PD) and the Five Star Movement Party have voted “for” the adoption. The agreement has become a rare example of cooperation between parties who tend to be irreconcilable opponents.
“The Parliament’s decision forces everyone to make a step forward from a civilizational point of view in the name of the country and human dignity”, Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni stated.
The anti-immigrant League of the North (in Italian, Lega Nord) and the right-wing Forza Italia opposed the bill.
“This law is a harbinger of legalized euthanasia”, said Senator Gian Marco Centinaio, representative of the Lega Nord.
Euthanasia is legalized in the Netherlands, Belgium, in some US states, Luxembourg, Canada, Sweden and Switzerland.
Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency