“In the 6 years since the law on living wills came into force, there has been no institutional information campaign. The law has been in force since 31 January 2018, but only 5 are aware of the right to file advance treatment orders Italians out of a thousand. No advertising, neither in the media, nor within health facilities or local health authorities, nor in GP practices”. They highlight it Filomena Gallo and Marco Cappatorespectively national secretary and treasurer of the Luca CoscionI Association.
What is a living will
The living will (also called: life will or advance declaration of treatment) is the expression of a person’s will, provided in conditions of mental clarity, regarding the therapies that he intends or does not intend to accept in the event that should be unable to express their right to consent or not consent to treatment. In Italy it is provided for irreversible or disabling traumatic brain diseases or injuries, diseases that require permanent treatments with machines or artificial systems that prevent a normal social life.
The appeal to the Ministry of Health and the Regions
The Coscioni Association once asks “the Minister of Health Schillaci and all the presidents of the Regions for updates on the campaign addressed to the population and foreseen by law, but never implemented. Not only on the so-called assisted suicide, the Ministry of Health and the Regions hide for not recognize a right legalized by the Constitutional Court but on the living will they manage to do even worse: the law exists but there has been no institutional campaign. We have repeatedly and in vain asked Minister Schillaci and the Presidents of the Regions for explanations”.
To provide information on the topic, the Coscioni Association has made available the white number 0699313409. Information on the end of life is provided to around 7 Italians every day. In 2023 the association invested 30 thousand euros in communication actions on the promotion of living wills. Meanwhile, the new survey on the topic has started in the 7,896 Italian municipalities. A first shipment, which will be followed by others throughout Italy in the coming weeks, concerned 1,021 municipalities in Abruzzo, Lazio, Marche, Sardinia, Tuscany and Umbria.
The data “are currently comforting: from these first findings – they explain – it emerges that in 2023 61% more DATs were filed compared to last year, synonymous with interest in the topic on the part of the population. In the absence of an annual report that the Ministry must present to Parliament on the progress of the law, this is currently the only way in Italy to know the data on official deposits”.