In Italy, a public debate about the death of Eluana Englaro was set in

motion that eventually extended itself to all of the problems related

to living wills. The controversy that developed around these events

represents a case of applied public ethics that involved moral problems

related to public policy decisions. The debate demonstrates

how such (bio)ethical questions have now become priorities on

the political agenda. Decision-makers are constantly called upon to

decide and intervene in very complex and difficult environments,

both at the beginning of life (such as the debate over Law No. 40

in relation to assisted fertilization and that relative to the abortion

pill RU-486) and at the end of life. Until only a short time ago, these

environments were strictly relegated to an individual, family, or

medical dimension.