The national congress of Luca Coscioni Association has started on www.lucacoscioni.it. It is being held on the internet, in order to allow as much as possible the participation of patients and people with disabilities. The congress represents an opportunity to get points of view and update on the issues covered by the second meeting of the World Congress for Freedom of Scientific Research held in Brussels (see the final declaration on line). The congress will last one month until October 17. Contributions in English or other languages are welcome, a written document or video-message can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, it will be promptly translated. The participants are currently debating on stem cells, euthanasia, peer review, therapeutic use of cannabis, GMO and much more. Read the call to action of Carmen Sorrentino, coordinator of the activities of the World Congress for freedom of scientific research.
In sum: - Piergiorgio Strata (Scientific Director, European Brain Research Institute; co-president, Luca Coscioni Association): "As for brain drain, we are mainly concerned by the fact that Italy has no appeal for foreign researchers. The fragmentation of structures represents a big waste of public resources. The reform of the Italian University and Research must focus on the evaluation as a general criterion. Freedom of research means freedom of competing. Let's abolish the "facoltà", where division of powers takes place. Let's fund the departments and single researchers according to their results" - Gliberto Corbellini (HiNews of Medicine and Bioethics, University of Rome “Sapienza", Italy; co-president, Luca Coscioni Association): "I am disappointed by the political and cultural involution of Luca Coscioni Association. The association is going through a time of crisis and gets attention only thanks to some judicial sentencing which says that we are right. The association must make a choice of method instead of content" - Giulio Cossu (Director, Stem Cell Research Institute Dibit, H. San Raffaele, Italy): "Corbellini's diagnosis is careful, but the therapy sounds like sort of euthanasia. Luca Coscioni Association keeps being the sole voice to keep alive our country's attention on the problems of research, patients and diseases which are incurable so far. Don't let us be hindered by rearguard battles: the dispute concerning human embryonic stem cells will be soon filed away thanks to the induced pluripotent stem cells. Our priorities are the following: end-of-life decisions (living will and euthanasia) and the reform of Research starting from evaluation and worth. I endorse Paolo Bianco's proposal of a public agency for the research" - Emma Bonino (Vice-President, Italian Senate; former European Commissioner): "The situation of Luca Coscioni Association must be considered in the context of the Italian situation, which overloads us. The state of choma of democracy and the destruction of the Italian State make it impossible to have a political market in Italy. There is no equal access to communication with citizens. I agree that green biotech, such as GMO and the research on the nuclear energy must be included in our programmes" and several patients and people with disabilities: - Pino Cucci: "I suffer from multiple sclerosis. The use of therapeutic cannabis can give some benefits and alleviate one's problems of spasticity, diminish the incontinency and the unstopped itch typical of this disease. The cannabis was sold in Italian pharmacies until the Thirties, while today one can't buy it legally any longer in Italy. To use it one shall import it from the Netherlands. If the policy-makers overcame their prejudices and the cannabis were raised also in Italy, the costs would be remarkably lower and this could give benefit to a lot of patients. - Paola Cirio: "I am affected by multiple sclerosis and a General Councelor of Luca Coscioni Association. I want to speak of freedom, a fundamental value of our civilization's. If we unfortunately think that we are better than our civilization this can only be because our fundamental values include freedom. In my opinion freedom should include freedom of cure, that is freedom of choosing one's own therapy following to physicians' information. Nonetheless we must be responsible of our freedom"