Alberto Guerrieri – From Youtube
“I address everyone, absolutely everyone, a request for help to support theassociation Law for a dignified life born in 2011 to ask that everyone, including the disabled, including the last, the most extreme cases, very serious disabled people in vital dependence, be guaranteed the conditions to live in dignity. A life worth living, regardless of one’s health conditions ».
Thus begins theappeal that Alberto Guerrieri launches relentlessly, these days, through a video. He does not have the television cameras and microphones pointed at him and he does not bear that they were, for the umpteenth time, on Marco Cappato on his death trip to Switzerland with Elena. Because Alberto knows what it means (really) to help a person as fragile as a crystal: for many years he has been assisting his son in his house in Piombino, who has fallen into the “locked-in” syndrome following a terrible road accident: the inability of any voluntary movement and the impossibility of communicating, except through coded nods of the eyes. A heavy task, which Alberto shared until a few months ago with his wife Maria Grazia and which he is now carrying out on his own, asking for help from public services and institutions.
His appeal is heartfelt: «I am aware – he explains – of representing a message in strong contrast with the idea that there is a sort of red line, a limit under which life is no longer worth living. Against all this we have been bringing our contribution of ideas for years. A battle made very difficult by unfair information, not equidistant, which has had the effect of privileging the message in favor of assisted suicide, of the right to a dignified death, taking away the voice of those who claim the right to a dignified life “. He does not want to create ideological conflicts, but his fear is that behind the requests for assisted suicide there may be, in some cases, not a free choice but the fruit of desperation.
After the sentence of the Constitutional Court last November, which indicated the conditions under which those who favor assisted suicide are not prosecutable, in December the ASL Toscana Nordovest announced that it had created, first in Tuscany and among the first in Italy, a team dedicated to the evaluation of requests for assisted suicide. «The delicacy of this theme should have suggested greater respect and a less childish approach» underlines Guerrieri.
In fact, the important thing is not to verify from a medical point of view, in a bureaucratic way, the existence of certain conditions: «What is really necessary, and that nobody means, is the common commitment to create concrete conditions of free choice. When a person is in conditions of absolute non self-sufficiency and cannot count on adequate assistance, able to guarantee him at least a minimum of dignity, it is clear that he can cherish the idea of ending it all. This is the problem that it pretends to ignore ».
The association “Right life with dignity” therefore makes a specific proposal: that for each request for assisted suicide a national commission will assess whether the patient has enjoyed and enjoys the necessary assistance, whether he has enjoyed and enjoys a project of insertion and social inclusion. «The lack of these two requisites – underlines Guerrieri – contributes to killing all hope and condemns these voiceless people to consider their existence meaningless, gradually subtracting any will to continue living. The help I ask everyone is to give voice to our ideas and proposals, not just those of those who fight for assisted suicide ».
Alberto Guerrieri also told his story in a book, Invisible like God the Fatherpublished by the Toscana Oggi editions with the preface by cardinal Giuseppe Betori. A book written out of necessity, like a therapy, for the need to express feelings and thoughts in words. A way to express gratitude to those who remained close and to collect the documents of all the meetings and conferences promoted by the association.
The title recalls the words of Pope Francis, who has repeatedly referred to the “invisible”, to people excluded from society who turn their gaze elsewhere. It is a reference to a God that no one has ever seen, but who has made himself visible through the human features of Christ and whom we see today in the face of every person who suffers.
Guerrieri is also the promoter of the Law 112 of 2016, the one on “After Us”, presented in 2011 as a regional law proposal, and then in 2013 as a national proposal for a popular initiative. He was awarded the President of the Republic Medal for his social commitment.