Foreign relations / Health / Society

The Italian “death tourists” in Switzerland

Italians go to Switzerland to work, to hide money or to die.

Helping someone to commit suicide is legal in Switzerland, while in Italy it is not. This generated a flux of Italian “death tourist” seeking the help of Swiss NGOs or checking in local clinics to end their life.

It is not known how many Italians died in Switzerland this way, but at least two cases are highly controversial.

In April 2013 Mr Pietro D’Amico, an Italian judge, committed suicide in Switzerland after being diagnosed a serious illness. However, the autopsy proved the diagnosis wrong.

This month Mrs Oriella Cazzanello, a wealthy Italian widower, followed Mr D’Amico’s example and had her ashes sent back to her notary, together with a letter explaining to her relatives that she was feeling lonely. Mrs Cazzanello was in perfect health.

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