Assisted suicide. Savarino: “We need clarifications”

A comment by Luca Savarino, coordinator of the Bioethical Commission of the Baptist, Methodist and Waldensian churches, and member of the National Bioethics Committee, on the ruling of the Constitutional Court.

Luca Savarino. Foto di Pietro Romeo

Rome (NEV /, October 7, 2019 – As expected, discussions on the subject of assisted suicide began, following the sentence with which the Constitutional Court, on September 25, specified the limits within which it might considered not punishable whosoever facilitates “the execution of the purpose of suicide” of another person, calling the Parliament to carry out its task with an ad hoc law.
A negative reaction was expected from the Catholic side, to which was added the position taken by the Medical Board, since doctors have “the obligation to give life and not death”.
In this regard, Alberto Corsani  – director of the daily Riforma – collected a statement by Professor Luca Savarino, Waldensian from Turin, professor of Bioethics at the University of Eastern Piedmont and coordinator of the Bioethical Commission of the Baptist, Methodist and Waldensian churches, as well as a member of the National Bioethics Committee.
“I personally believe that the Court’s pronouncement is a reasonable and balanced judgment that on the one hand widens the spaces of individual freedom in the context of end-of-life choices, but on the other, rightly, reiterates that the lawfulness of aid to suicide is not just a question of individual freedom, but a problem of medical ethics: in other words, it concerns exclusively individuals suffering from very serious pathologies”.
As for the relationship with politics,  Savarino adds: “It is  evident that the sentence constitutes only a first step, which will require legislative intervention to integrate it with regards to some fundamental points. For example, the Court rightly recommends that the procedure should take place within a public structure of the National Health Service, but also claims that the favorable opinion of a territorial ethics committee is needed. However, it is known that not all hospitals have an Ethical Committee, and that the methods of composition and appointment of the committees themselves are not clear. Let the word, therefore, to politics”.