Italian doctors encouraged by the Order not to practice euthanasia in the event of decriminalisation

Publié le 29 Apr, 2019

The Italian President of the National Federation of the Order of Doctors and Dentists is of the opinion that even if the Italian Parliament one day legalizes euthanasia, no doctor should practice it, since the Code of Medical Ethics clearly states that “the doctor, even at the patient’s request, must neither carry out nor promote treatment aimed at causing death” (Article 17 of the Code of Medical Ethics). Filippo Anelli wrote this statement on a document that was sent to all Italian doctors and forwarded to the Parliament’s National Bioethics Committee. “Even if the lawmakers decide to amend Article 580 and, therefore, to allow doctors to facilitate the execution of suicide in any way, the ethical rules currently established in the Code shall remain valid and applicable”, explains President Anelli in this “communication No. 41”.


The Luca Coscioni medical association disagreed with the President of the Order of Doctors, stating that the Code of Ethics is “not above the law”, which must be respected by all citizens, including doctors. They believe that if euthanasia is decriminalized, the Code of Ethics will need to be amended.


For further reading:

Euthanasia in Italy: draft bill debated in the Chamber of Deputies

Inquiry into the assisted suicide of an Italian in Switzerland

Abortion in Ireland: the President signs the law, the Medical Association amends its code of ethics as a matter of urgency

Il Fatto Quotidiano, Marco Capatto (15/04/2019)

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