Italian woman commits euthanasia in Switzerland, man finds out about her death when he receives her urn | Abroad

Italian woman commits euthanasia in Switzerland, man finds out about her death when he receives her urn | Abroad
Italian woman commits euthanasia in Switzerland, man finds out about her death when he receives her urn | Abroad

A 55-year-old woman from Turin died in October at a euthanasia clinic in Switzerland. Her husband, who had tried to prevent her death, only learned of his wife’s death when the urn containing her ashes was delivered to her home.

Marta became depressed after the death of her son in January 2023 and was treated by a psychiatrist. In the summer of last year she could no longer cope with life and, without her husband’s knowledge, she contacted a euthanasia clinic in Basel, Switzerland. In Switzerland it is possible, legally and relatively easily, to end your life in a clinic under medical supervision, even for non-Swiss citizens.

You can talk about thoughts of suicide anonymously: chat via, call 113 or call 0800-0113 for free.

Marta’s husband Alberto, who temporarily lives in Canada for work, discovers the contact with the clinic and, together with his sister-in-law, goes to the clinic in Basel to convince Marta and stop the process to end her life. The two are convinced that Marta has not yet finished her treatment, even though the loss of her son is very difficult for her. “My wife told me she couldn’t live without her son,” widower Alberto told the Italian newspaper La Repubblica. “The love she felt for me, no matter how great, was not enough to bear the pain. But then she also showed that she was doing better.”

No response to emails and phone calls

Despite several requests, the Swiss clinic does not want to speak to the family members and does not respond to emails or telephone calls. “I would not have opposed my wife’s choice if I was sure that it had been well-considered,” says Alberto, but he believes that Marta was doing reasonably well in the weeks before her death. “We spoke on the phone every other day and she assured me that everything was going well, she was very busy with her work. I saw that as a positive signal.”

Marta’s colleagues confirm Alberto’s impression, but Marta decides to take the train to Basel alone at the beginning of October. She leaves her phone and computer at home in Turin. Alberto doesn’t hear from her for three days, a farewell email ends up in the spam box because it is not sent from his wife’s usual email address. Yet he is not yet concerned. “She worked long hours at work.” Still no word from the clinic.

Urn delivered to your home

Only after the urn containing his wife’s ashes is delivered to his home does the man become aware of the death. The widower is especially angry because he and other family members were not given the opportunity to say goodbye to Marta. “I wasn’t even allowed to see her body before she was cremated.” He also wonders to what extent it is correct that relatives are completely excluded from the decision of the person in question.

“I am convinced that the foundation in Basel has followed all procedures,” Silvio Viale said. La Stampa. In addition to being a councilor in Turin, Viale is also a board member of the Luca Coscioni Foundation, a foundation committed to the legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide. “It does not surprise me that the foundation in Basel has respected not only the woman’s will to die with dignity, but also her wishes towards her relatives after her death.” Viale regrets that the widower has been devastated by the death of his wife.

Although a majority of Italians are now in favor of euthanasia and assisted suicide, euthanasia is still prohibited in Italy. The Supreme Court ruled in 2019 that assisted suicide is not always punishable, but three years later ruled against a referendum on the sensitive subject. The Veneto region’s attempt to regulate the end of life by law failed two weeks ago in the regional parliament with one vote. As a result, many Italians still resort to Switzerland.

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The article is in Dutch

Tags: Italian woman commits euthanasia Switzerland man finds death receives urn


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