Keywords: End-of-life Decisions; Incompetent Persons; Italian Case law
After referring to how the Italian legal system presently deals with the issue of incompetent persons and informed consent for medical treatment, the Authors address the legal regime of end-of-life decisions taken by incompetent persons. The Authors examine and discuss the legal principles on right-to-die issues stated by the Italian Cassation Court in the Englaro case and contained both in case law and statute law in the United States (at State and Federal level). The Authors also examine recent Italian parliamentary bills on living wills and anticipated directives evaluating them both under Italian constitutional law and in the context of the US legal experience. Finally, the Authors propose some fundamental guidelines for carrying out a constitutionally valid and sound reform of present end-of-life decisions for incompetent persons so that they comply with the principles of personal freedom and due process.