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Italy approves the biological Testament, a formula to stop receiving treatment in terminal case

The law, which has not been opposed by the Vatican, will allow patients to write if they want to be kept artificially alive in cases of extreme severity

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Italy approves the biological Testament, a formula to stop receiving treatment in terminal case

The Italian Senate has approved on Thursday a law that will allow its citizens to make a biological testament. According to new standard, patients will be able to choose early if y want to be kept alive on basis of a treatment such as artificial feeding and hydration. This is a major law in a country that still receives a profound influence from Catholic Church, which had so far opposed this type of measure. The rule, however, does not foresee how many associations requested, request for deep sedation terminal, which leads to death of patient, or called assisted suicide, ie active euthanasia. It is a question of opening possibility of not receiving treatments to keep a patient alive in a vegetative state.

The sick will be able to choose how to cope with death by accepting or denying certain types of cures. The procedure will be carried out through DAT (advance treatment provision), documents that will allow a previously designated person — if patient is unable to do so — make decision to suppress feeding or hydration Artificial. The first article of standard makes it clear that "no sanitary treatment can be initiated or continued without free and informed consent of person concerned." Something that will now be written in Biological Testament. "Fundamentally it is a reinforcement of doctor-patient relationship. There is no external criterion for deciding when to stop curing. They have to agree, "says Professor of political philosophy at Luiss University and member of first Bioethics Committee of Italy, Sebastiano Maffettano.

A law that has nothing to do with euthanasia or assisted suicide and which has been approved mainly with support of PD and 5-Star Movement with a high consensus in Italian Parliament and Senate-180 votes in favour, 71 against and 6 abstentions-will be last Relevant rule approved before end of legislature. The Prime Minister himself, Paolo Gentiloni, has celebrated on Twitter as "choice of civics" a "step forward for dignity of person."

But pain and suffering in face of life are extremely variable concepts when Catholic doctrine is involved. The case of Eluana Englaro, woman of 37 years who remained for 17 years in a vegetative state and who found opposition of Church and of part of Italian policy to be disconnected, revealed in 2008 division that existed in country on this subject. The Vatican n pressed to keep Englaro alive. However, this time Italian Parliament has received some support from law from Holy See.

Pope Francis, in fact, underlined his position only two weeks ago, in what many interpreted as green light to norm. "It is morally lawful to renounce rapeutic means or to suspend m when ir mission does not coincide with an ethical and humanistic criterion of proportionality of Cure", pontiff launched. But he also clearly distinguished him from euthanasia or assisted suicide, on which church is completely against it. "We see well, in fact, that suspending use of disproportionate means is tantamount to avoiding suffering. An action that has a completely different ethical meaning from euthanasia. "

The Catholic community in Italy remains, however, somewhat divided, though nothing willing to present battle as in or times. The newspaper of Italian bishops, Avvenire, has been shown against law because it "makes a conflict doctor-patient relationship breaking rapeutic alliance." For Constitutionalist and former senator of Democratic Party (PD), Stefano Ceccanti, "It is a law on self-determination of patient that allows him to establish what cures to renounce." "The problematic point for right and Catholic world is interruption of food and hydration. They describe it as bread and water, but y are actually chemically prepared, he says.

In Berlusconi's Forza Italia, who at time opposed se kinds of laws, freedom of vote has been granted. In xenophobic North League, on or hand, it was voted against not because text "a botched and a prelude to euthanasia" has been considered, according to Senate spokesman, Gian Marco Centinai.

The law began to be processed a few weeks after death of DJ Fabo, a young man of 37 years blind and quadriplegic after having suffered a car accident. After several requests to Government, even President of Republic, decided to go to a Swiss clinic to have access to an assisted suicide. The case returned to memory of Italians ordeal suffered by Beppino Englaro. Then a court authorized that he would stop feeding his daughter Eluana, who had been in a coma for 17 years; Silvio Berlusconi's government passed a law in a few hours to stop it, but n President of Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, refused to sign it and woman died in 2009.


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