Surrounded by his family and friends, a 44-year-old quadriplegic man died at his home in Italy's first medically-assisted suicide after enduring years of battling his right to die.
According to Merco Press, Federico "Mario" Carboni was a truck driver until he became paralyzed due to an accident that happened in 2010. Afterward, he sought his right to die but Italian current laws imposed five to twelve years of imprisonment await those helping suicide.
Despite the current laws, he fought legal battles in the country instead of going to neighboring land like Switzerland, where the procedure has been accepted for quite some time.
In un video, la testimonianza della madre di Federico Carboni, il primo italiano ad avere avuto accesso al suicidio assistito: "Sono orgogliosa di lui, mi ha insegnato la vita" pic.twitter.com/KrDbh1Yyp0
— Tg3 (@Tg3web) June 18, 2022
Driven By Physical And Emotional Pain
In his last words published by Associazione Luca Coscioni, Carboni said that he couldn't possibly deny that he regretted taking his own life. If he claimed differently, he said he would be lying because life is wonderful and everyone only has one life. "But unfortunately, it was like this," he added.
According to Avery Bio Medical, Quadriplegia affects patients to suffer physically and emotionally. The most concerning aspect of the disability is difficulty in breathing since the brain could not send signals to the diaphragm for the patient to breathe properly. ABM also explained that in other cases patients have weak chest muscles that prohibit them even more to breathe fully.
Carboni claimed that despite his best efforts to adapt to his impairment and live a normal life, he was mentally and physically worn out. Due to his disability, he became fully dependent on others for everything which he described himself as "I am like a boat adrift in the ocean."
UMPC stated that adjustment to spinal cord injury or disability is a life-long process. They explained that at the onset of the trauma, patients need to adjust to their living conditions. Just like Carboni, he said he's aware of his physical condition and his future chances that's why he's calm in his decision.
He expressed his pride and honor at how his battle led to legal precedent and helped write his nation's history. "Now I am finally free to fly wherever I want," he added.
Long Battle In Pursuit Of Italy's First Assisted Suicide
The Local reported that despite the country's hold back on its constitution of protecting people, especially the weak and vulnerable life, the Constitutional Court of Italy granted in 2019 an exemption for those with "intolerable" physical or mental pain brought on by an incurable illness, who are kept alive by life support procedures but are nevertheless able to make voluntary and sound decisions.
The referendum was proposed by right-to-die advocates in which Carboni met all the criteria, Merco Press reported.
According to Luca Coscioni Association, after a court battle that lasted nearly two years, the practice was approved on February 9 with the verdict on the medicine and the appropriate methodology. Its foundation had helped Carboni to gather the cost of around 5,000 euros of a specialized apparatus that he used to inject himself with a fatal substance.
Luca Coscioni Association thanked Carboni for giving them the trust. They said that Carboni's stubbornness paved the way not just for his right to die but for all the people who would consider the option. For those seeking their help, the association said that they are willing to aisst.
Wesley J. Smith, a senior fellow from Discovery Institute's Center on Human Exceptionalism, told The Christian Post in an email, that he observed several significant problems with assisted suicide spreading to Italy.
Despite Luca Coscioni Association maintaining in their statement that they did not need a house bill to pass anymore, Smith said the decision was a court ruling and not a law. In addition to that, he argued that Carboni was not terminally ill, but paralyzed which should exclude him from the criteria of assisted suicide.
According to him, people living with disability are the target of this movement that's why disability rights organizations refuted the legalization of euthanasia. Smith noted nations like Canada that chose to put disabled people to death because they are not provided with the services that would encourage them to desire to live.
Strengthened Palliative Care
After Carboni's request was granted in February, Pope Francis denounced the proposal regulating assisted suicide and called it an unacceptable departure from medical ethics, Reuters reported. He rallied for palliative care to enable terminally ill patients to live as pleasantly and humanely as possible.
According to the World Health Organization, to support the patient and their family, palliative care involves services provided by professionals including doctors, nurses, support staff, paramedics, pharmacists, physiotherapists, and volunteers. It improves the quality of life of patients as well as their families while coping with the difficulties brought on by life-threatening illnesses.
According to the organization, 78 percent of the 40 million people who require palliative care each year reside in low- and middle-income nations. They were expecting this number to increase in the following years, but according to their data, there are about only 14% received it. That's why the organization proposed to increase access to palliative care through adequate national policies, programs, resources, and training for health professionals.
According to the report, Pope Francis reiterated that people must be careful not to confuse themselves with the "help" that led to the killing. He encouraged people to embrace death but not provoke it and help people to suicide.