Italy carries out its first assisted suicide

A 44-year-old man who was paralyzed in a car accident 12 years ago died Thursday in Italy’s first case of medically assisted suicide.

The man died in his home after self-administering a lethal drug, according to the Luca Coscioni Association, which advocates for the legalization of euthanasia.

The legality of assisted suicide remains a fraught issue in Italy, where it is opposed by the powerful Roman Catholic Church and many politicians. A 2019 decision by the country’s Constitutional Court found that assisted suicide was permissible when patients are able to make decisions and in overwhelming pain, legalizing it in practice.

The Luca Coscioni Association revealed the man’s name — Federico Carboni — after his death, as per his request. Carboni fought a lengthy legal battle for access to euthanasia until he was given the green light by regional health authorities in November 2021.

“I did everything I could to be able to live as best as I could and try to recover as much as I could from my disability, but I am now at the end of my rope both mentally and physically,” were some of Carboni’s his last words, according to the Luca Coscioni Association. “I am aware of my physical condition and future prospects so I am totally serene and calm about what I will do. Now I am finally free to fly wherever I want.”