The Vatican refused to grant the Welby family
request for a funeral in his local parish

A high-profile case of euthanasia has sparked fierce debate in Italy, where euthanasia is forbidden by the law and the Roman Catholic Church.

At the heart of the storm is Piergiorgio Welby, a writer and poet who was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at the age of 20. At 60, he became completely paralysed. Welby attracted a flood of emails and public attention world-wide through his online blog and the numerous newspaper articles he wrote calling for euthasiania to be legalised.

In September 2006, Welby was fully lucid but losing his capacity to speak and eat. He wrote to Italy's president, Giorgio Napolitano: "I love life, Mr. President. Life is the woman who loves you, the wind through your hair, the sun on your face, an evening stroll with a friend. I am neither melancholic nor manic-depressive. I find the idea of dying horrible. But what is left to me is no longer a life."

People & Power explores the remarkable last wishes of Piergiorgio Welby and the unexpected legal complexities that arose after his death.

People Protest

Bolivia’s indigenous population has suffered discrimination for centuries

When Eva Morales was elected in December 2006, he promised to bring about a 'social revolution', ending years of discrimination against Bolivia's majority indigenous population.

Months later, the people of Cochabamba decided to protest at the lack of reform.

People & Power look at what happens when race, class and power collide.

The Power of One - Kate Dewes

People & Power examines the extraordinary success behind a New Zealand woman's wish to make the world nuclear-free for her children.

Watch The Right to Die here:

Watch People Protest and The Power of One - Kate Dewes here:


This episode of People & Power aired from 19 September 2007


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