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Pope Francis decries euthanasia as Italian court considers assisted suicide law

Pope Francis decries euthanasia as Italian court considers assisted suicide law

Pope Francis strongly believes that euthanasia is not a Catholic method to cope with the problems, even the strongest ones. As The Local Italy reports, the pontiff has expressed his usual opinion — against assisted suicide days before a top Italian court is to examine the most ever-complex question in the largely Roman Catholic country.

Euthanasia, according to Pope Francis, is a sin. The good Catholic should and must reject the temptation to end life, a gift from God. Despite euthanasia is also favoured by legislative changes, to use medicine to satisfy a sick person’s possible wish to die is unacceptable, the pope told a delegation from the Italian Doctors Order on Friday.

In Italy, the Constitutional Court last October gave parliament a year to fill a legal void on the question, but MPs have not done so. On Tuesday, the court will reexamine the question of potentially legalising assisted suicide, without mentioning euthanasia.

Amid the political crisis and forming a new government, debating assisted suicide is not one of its priorities. But for Italians, the issue of euthanasia is really vital.

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

Euthanasia in Italy: to be or not to be a legislative measure?

The Italian court faced with the complex issue of euthanasia after a precedent in 2017. Fabiano Antoniani, aka DJ Fabo, a music producer, traveller and motocross driver left tetraplegic and blind by a 2014 traffic accident.

Marco Cappato drove 40-year-old Antoniani to Switzerland in February 2017 where he was assisted to die and where such help is legislative.

On his turn back to Italy, Cappato informed the 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.

“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 Italian Constitutional Court to clarify the current law.

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. Pope Francis hopes to win this battle, urging the good Catholics to keep their faith.