Sibilla Barbieri went to the clinic with the help of her son
The Italian actress, screenwriter and director Sibilla Barbieri died at the age of 58 in a Swiss clinic, where she herself chose to go to end her life.
The Roman made her decision after a 10-year battle with cancer. She was terminally ill. The news of Barbieri’s suicide was given by the “Luca Coschoni” association, whose adviser was the actress herself.
She chose to travel to Switzerland to take the lethal pill herself after being denied this by the Roman health services. They rejected her request to benefit from the right to medical assistance in voluntary death. The authorities argued with the fact that Barbieri did not meet one of the four requirements stipulated by a decision of the Court of Cassation in Rome. In a 2019 judgment in what became known as the Capato-DJ Fabo case, the Supreme Court ruled that only a person who is capable of “self-determination” can access voluntary death if they are affected by an irreversible pathology , if his illness is a source of physical or mental suffering that the sufferer considers unbearable, and if he is dependent on life-sustaining treatment.
In the case of Barbieri, the health commission ruled that the actress did not meet the latter criterion.
“This is very severe discrimination for cancer patients and for those who are not terminally ill,” commented the actress in a video before leaving for the clinic. In it, she said that she decided to ask for help by going to Switzerland because she had 10,000 euros needed for suicide in a clinic. “But what will all those patients do who are condemned to death by their illness and cannot commit suicide because they have no money or no information?” she asked Barbieri.
She was accompanied to Switzerland by her son and former Radical Party senator Marco Perduca. Both turned themselves in to the authorities and risk up to 12 years in prison under Italian law.