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Muscular dystrophy sufferer Stefano Gheller dies

Muscular dystrophy sufferer Stefano Gheller dies

First person to get OK for assisted suicide from Veneto region

ROME, 22 February 2024, 18:06

ANSA English Desk

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Stefano Gheller, the 50-year-old muscular dystrophy sufferer who was the first person to receive authorization to commit assisted suicide from the Veneto regional health service, died in Bassano hospital on Thursday afternoon.
    He had been in hospital for several days due to a deterioration of his condition.
    "I have no fear of death, but of the suffering that precedes it," said Gheller, from Cassola near Vicenza, some time ago.
    He suffered from a severe form of Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy inherited from his mother and was attached to a respirator 24 hours a day for 35 years.
    On October 13, 2022, the Pedemontana health agency granted Gheller's request to be able to receive assisted suicide under a recent Constitutional Court ruling, even though there is still not Italian law in place in favour of the move.
    "The news that I can end my life when the suffering becomes unbearable has made me love life even more," he said at the time.
    "I hope it will also help any other people who make the me request." he added.
    Gheller said he could have gone to a euthanasia clinic in Switzerland, where several other Italians have been helped to commit assisted suicide by the right-to-die Luca Coscioni Association.
    However, he said he "preferred to stay in Italy and fight my battle here".
   

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