Botched diagnosis led to Italian’s assisted death

An Italian magistrate who went to Switzerland for an assisted suicide was not gravely ill as he had thought, an autopsy has revealed.

Botched diagnosis led to Italian's assisted death
Pietro D’Amico went to Switzerland for an assisted suicide. Photo: Masahiko Ohkubo/Flickr

Pietro D’Amico, a 62-year-old magistrate from Calabria in southern Italy, ended his life at a clinic in Basel in April.  The father-of-one took the decision after a wrong diagnosis from Italian and Swiss doctors, his family's lawyer Michele Roccisano told Corriere della Sera.

“The scientific error pushed him to seek the help of the clinic in Basel,” Roccisano said.

An autopsy carried out by the University of Basel’s Institute of Forensic Medicine found that D’Amico was not suffering from a life-threatening illness at the time of his death.

Roccisano has called on the Italian and Swiss authorities to examine D’Amico’s medical records to determine what went wrong.

Dignitas, an association for assisted suicide, has said that a Swiss doctor must confirm that a patient has a terminal illness, an “unendurable incapacitating disability” or “unbearable and uncontrollable pain” before a life-ending drug can be authorized.

In May, the European Court of Human Rights said that Switzerland did not provide clear enough guidelines on who has the right to obtain the lethal drug. 

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Twelve-year-old injured after jumping from window

A twelve-year-old girl is in a critical condition after throwing herself from the second-floor balcony of her home in the northern Italian city of Pordenone.

Twelve-year-old injured after jumping from window
The girl told police she was having trouble getting along with classmates. Photo: Luca Parioli

The girl left two suicide notes, one addressed to her classmates saying “now you’ll be happy” and the other asking her parents for forgiveness, Il Fatto Quotidiano reported.

The girl was found in the courtyard below by a neighbour.

She had been off sick from school for a week when her mother went into her room to give her an inhalation treatment, only to discover the room empty and the window wide open.

The girl, who was found conscious, told those paramedics and police first on the scene that she was having problems getting along with her classmates.

She is now in intensive care at Udine hospital with multiple fractures and possible spine injury.

Police are checking messages on her social media accounts to ascertain what might have triggered the suicide bid.