Unanimous green light from the Chamber of Deputies at rules for the prevention of discrimination and the protection of the rights of people who have been affected by oncological diseases, the so-called oncological oblivion law. The text, approved in Montecitorio with 281 votes for and no against, goes to the Senate. It introduces a “right to be forgotten” to ensure that clinical recovery is matched by the possibility of exercising one’s rights on an equal footing with the rest of the population.
The text defines the right to oncological oblivion as the right of people recovered from an oncological pathology not to provide information or be the subject of investigations on their previous pathological condition. On the subject of access to banking, financial and insurance services it is envisaged that for the purposes of stipulating or renewing the relative contracts, the request for information relating to the state of health of the contracting natural person concerning oncological pathologies from which he/she has previously been affected is not permitted, if the active treatment has ended, without episodes of recurrence, for more than ten years at the date of the request; this period is reduced by half if the pathology has arisen before the age of twenty-one. News, in relation to the acquisition of information on the health background, also in matters of adoption of minors and access to competitions for patients recovered from cancer. The Guarantor for the protection of personal data is assigned the function of supervising the correct application of the new provisions.
The applause of oncologists
“The approval of the bill – explain the Italian Association of Medical Oncology (Aiom) and the Aiom Foundation – is the first fundamental step for the protection of over one million people in Italy, who have overcome cancer but continue to be considered ill by society, with discrimination in access to services such as the stipulation of insurance and mortgages, difficulties in the adoption and employment processes. We hope that the Senate will approve the law as soon as possible, because it is a battle of civilization”. This norm, he says Saverio Cinieri, president of Aiom, “it can place our country at the forefront in Europe in the protection of people affected by cancer who have overcome the disease. After the definitive approval by the Senate, those recovered from cancer will no longer be discriminated against in social, professional and family life” .
“Today, thanks to technological innovation and the important results of scientific research, there are 3.6 million people living in Italy after a cancer diagnosis – explains Giordano Beretta, president of the Aiom Foundation -. Over one million can be considered cured . For this reason it is essential to allow patients to enjoy a free and complete life after the end of the treatments. In the last two years, the Aiom Foundation has launched an information campaign, #iononsonoilmiotumore, which has seen a collection of signatures that has exceeded 107 thousand signatures “. After 10 years from the end of treatment for adult neoplasms and after 5 for those of the pediatric age, he concludes, “the patients can be considered cured not only on a clinical level but also for society”.
The patients and former patients who are directly involved express their gratitude. According to the Federation of Oncology Volunteer Associations, with the law “the stigma cancer = death and the cancer stigma = incurable and incurable disease, frequently reproposed by the media, and still deeply rooted in public opinion, are canceled by law”. The text, underlineto Elisabetta Iannelli, secretary general Favo“affirms the recognition of a universal right: the return to life after cancer, since social healing must correspond to clinical healing”.
Cappellacci: ‘A social rebirth for 1 million healed’
“Free to take out a mortgage, to take out insurance, to adopt a child with no more limits, discrimination or greater burdens”. This is it, according to iThe President of the Social Affairs and Health Commission, Ugo Cappellacci, the revolution of the bill on cancer oblivion just approved in the House. It is, he says, “a social rebirth for over a million cancer survivors.” The right to be forgotten on cancer, Cappellacci underlines in a note, “passes the examination of the Chamber in record time, after the very rapid reunification of the texts in the Commission, demonstrating how much the topic is felt”.
The right to be forgotten is “a social rebirth: a message of hope and freedom also for those who fight against this evil which affects over three million people in our country. Behind the numbers, there are people, life stories, families who can finally start their journey again”. This law, Cappellacci explains, “follows physical healing with social healing through a juridical ‘cure’ that restores rights, severely compressed by the disease”.
During the examination of the measure – emphasizes Maria Elena Boschi (Iv), rapporteur of the provision – we worked in full harmony and sharing with all the groups, arriving at a unanimous consensus. A positive signal that I hope will have the same outcome in the Senate so that the law is approved quickly. We all try to work in the interests of citizens, because the task of politicians is not to improve their own lives, but those of others. Today we can demonstrate it concretely”.
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