Press Review: Italy, Constitutional court blocks euthanasia referendum

The court said that the referendum would not guarantee “minimum protection of human life,” especially for “weak and vulnerable persons.” Two party leaders have said decriminalization is now up to parliament.

Italy’s Constitutional Court on Tuesday blocked a possible referendum on the decriminalization of assisted suicide.

Advocates for the referendum gathered 750,000 signatures in August, which is well above the minimum required.

The court said in a press release that the referendum would not guarantee “minimum protection of human life in general, particularly with reference to weak and vulnerable persons.”

What is the current law around euthanasia in Italy?

Under current Italian law, anyone helping another person commit suicide can be jailed for between five and 12 years.

In 2019, the court called on parliament to clarify its law on assisted suicide. The law said that euthanasia could be permissible for those with an incurable illness causing “intolerable” suffering and who were on life support.

The court ruled that those patients must remain capable of making “free and informed decisions.”

Anyone who does not fall into the category stipulated by the 2019 law has no legal recourse to assisted suicide in Italy.

Source: “Dw.com” – Italy, February 16, 2022

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