Here is the drug that Antonio can use for assisted suicide

Here is the drug that Antonio can use for assisted suicide

The single regional health authority of the Marche has ruled on the drug and on the methods of self-administration with which "Antonio" will be able to legally access medically assisted suicide. All the details about the drug and who produces it

There was only an opinion on the drug and on the methods of self-administration so that "Antonio", a 44-year-old quadriplegic patient from the Marches since 2014, could legally access medically assisted suicide in Italy.

After Federico Carboni , 43 years old also from the Marche who remained quadriplegic 15 years ago due to a road accident, he is the second Italian case to receive the green light from the Medical Commission of the Single Regional Health Authority (Asur) of the Marche.


The procedure for medically assisted suicide in Italy is legal only in the presence of the four conditions indicated by the Constitutional Court in the so-called 'Cappato / Antoniani' unconstitutionality sentence.

Specifically, the sentence reads: "suicide intention, autonomously and freely formed, of a person kept alive by life-sustaining treatments and suffering from an irreversible pathology, a source of physical or psychological suffering that she considers intolerable, but fully capable of make free and informed decisions, as long as these conditions and methods of execution have been verified by a public structure of the national health service, after obtaining the opinion of the territorially competent ethics committee ".


The opinion issued unanimously by the Commission, La Presse reports, confirms what is indicated in the report by Dr. Mario Riccio, an anesthetist also for Piergiorgio Welby and consultant of Antonio's legal board, who identified the suitable drug and the most appropriate self-administration methods to be able to implement the request for medically assisted suicide requested by Antonio himself.


Like Carboni, Antonio too will receive thiopentone sodium. “Sodium Thiopentone and the indicated dosages are compatible with the aims set by Mr. 'Antonio' ​​- reads the opinion reported by La Presse -. The method of administration is compatible with the choice of the drug and can be implemented independently by Mr. Antonio in a decent operational context and with physically painless effects for the author at the end of his life ”.


The Thiopental, as explained by the Humanitas Clinical Institute , is a barbiturate that works by reducing the activity of the central nervous system, thus inducing mild sedation or, at higher doses, falling asleep. It is given by injection into a vein or rectally.


In the past it was used as an anesthetic before surgery, but has been replaced by the World Health Organization (WHO) in the essential drug list with propofol and in most sedations with benzodiazepines. It remains, however, listed as an acceptable alternative.

Under the name of Pentothal, thiopentone has also been used for lethal injection to death row inmates in the United States – where the death penalty is foreseen – and it is believed that when used in psychiatric therapies with patients suffering from amnesia, mutism or block of language, "induces in the patient a state of tranquility and relaxation, which increases the willingness to speak".


In the United States, the only company that has had official Food and Drug Admistration (FDA) clearance to produce Pentothal is Hospira, which discovered and launched sodium thiopentone in the 1930s.

Hospira also has a plant on the outskirts of Milan, in Liscate, which was supposed to produce the drug but in January 2011, following accusations relating to its use for the death penalty and the intervention of both associations such as Hands Off Cain and the Italian government, the company has decided to cease production in Italy and globally.

Today, with the exception of the company Intervet Productions (based in Aprilia) which produces it for veterinary use, according to the Pharmacompass website, the drug would be produced by the Swiss company Sandoz of Novartis, by the German Chemische Fabrik Berg GmbH, by the Taiwanese Sci Pharmtech and by the Japanese Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma and Juzen Chemical Corporation.

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL on Thu, 18 Aug 2022 08:46:01 +0000.