While Belgium is even discussing euthanasia for severely handicapped children, Italy is likely to remain, even on this, on the dark side of Europe.
Why this story matters:
The Italian Parliament is discussing an end-of-life law that would ultimately give terminal patients the freedom to decide when and how to die. But the obstructionism of many Catholic parliamentarians is likely to make it a joke.
In Italy, a country entrenched with Catholic culture even though there are fewer and fewer practicing Catholics, the freedom and self-determination of individuals is not a leading value. Especially when it comes to issues related to one’s body, from the beginning to the end of life — sexuality, conception, abortion, artificial fertilization, assisted suicide, euthanasia — the pressure of Catholic culture defining life as a “gift of God” still runs deep.
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