A muscular dystrophy sufferer has re-opened the euthanasia debate in Italy. Piergiorgio Welby, speaking through a digital voice machine, sent a video message to Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, pleading for a change in the law: “If I was Swiss, Belgian or Dutch, I could escape from this extreme suffering. But I’m Italian, and here there is no mercy.”
Welby’s campaign is supported by Radical Party leader Marco Cappato: “Regulating euthanasia means fighting against clandestine euthanasia. Everyone has the right, the freedom to decide on their body and their life.” Cardinal Ersilio Tonini is one of many influential Catholic figures in Italy to oppose the right to die, insisting that the law exists to protect the weakest members in society. President Napolitano meanwhile has reacted to Welby’s campaign by welcoming a debate in Parliament on the subject, saying the only unjustifiable attitude is silence.