Turin Probe Focuses on Patients´ "Living Wills"

Files Deposited with Group Linked to «Death Trips»

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TURIN, Italy, NOV. 21, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Authorities are probing the health history of some 100 people who deposited «living wills» with a group suspected of organizing trips to the Netherlands for patients seeking euthanasia.

The Turin Office of the Public Prosecutor and the police will try to determine how many of these people, all registered with the group Exit, are still alive and if, in fact, they have consented to undergo euthanasia.

In a «living will» the individual requests the doctor to help him undergo euthanasia if certain ailments set in.

On Monday, the police confiscated more documents from the office of Exit president Emilio Coveri, an employee of a Turin company.

Gian Paolo Zancan, Coveri´s defense lawyer, said that euthanasia trips have never been organized.

«Exit is an association whose objective is to see legislation modified on the issue of euthanasia,» said Zancan. «It is an opinion movement that is absolutely legitimate.»

Giuseppe Del Barone, president of the National Federation of Medical Colleges of Italy, decided to investigate regional medical colleges, to verify if there are colleagues who might have facilitated trips abroad for terminal patients.

Del Barone expressed condemnation «of doctors in any intervention directed to accelerating death.»

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