Assisted suicide in the care of mentally ill patients: the Lucio Magri's case

J Forensic Leg Med. 2014 Jan:21:26-30. doi: 10.1016/j.jflm.2013.10.017. Epub 2013 Nov 4.


A year after Mario Monicelli's suicide, the death of another famous person in Italy, Lucio Magri, reawakened the Italian debate on social, ethical and juridical issues in end-of-life decisions. Unlike Monicelli, Lucio Magri decided to end his own life in Switzerland with the help of a physician because his mental illness rendered his life unbearable. Both Monicelli and Magri suffered from a severe depression. The authors analyze the ethical issues regarding the right to die for mentally ill patients and neurological disabled patients, discussing the decision-making autonomy in persons suffering from severe depression. The role of the psychiatry in the management of end-of-life decision requests is considered along with pros and cons of suicide prevention and rationale suicide.

Keywords: Assisted suicide; End-of-life decisions; Mental illness; Neurological disorders; Right to die; Suicide.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Bipolar Disorder / psychology
  • Depression / psychology
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Male
  • Medical Tourism / ethics
  • Medical Tourism / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Mentally Ill Persons / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Mentally Ill Persons / psychology
  • Public Opinion
  • Right to Die / ethics
  • Right to Die / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Suicide, Assisted / ethics*
  • Suicide, Assisted / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Switzerland