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I read with particular interest the recent letter from Dr Fenning1 about the importance of identifying the ‘end-of-life’ (EOL) period in everyday medical practice. Working with geriatric patients in an acute geriatric clinic on the Italian territory, I directly experience the unpredictable impact of multimorbidity and chronic progressive conditions on life expectancy. Compared to other European countries, Italy is lagging behind in the approval of coded laws aimed at regulating EOL care. The unique cultural and religious background, often amplified by the mass-media, strongly influences public opinion on palliative care and EOL issues.
A recent bill (2009), prompted by the publicised case of Mrs Eluana …
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.