In 2010, Law no. 38 of March 15, 2010 on "Provisions for guaranteeing access to palliative care and pain therapy" (1) was issued in Italy. Law 38/2010 transposes and formalizes the provisions of the “Charter of rights on unnecessary pain” and in part of the “European Charter of Patients’ Rights” promoted by Cittadinanzattiva and its international branch Active Citizenship Network, giving full legitimacy to the "Right to avoid unnecessary suffering and pain". A right for which many organizations of citizens and patients, together with numerous motivated professionals, fought hard, fighting the idea of pain and suffering as unavoidable components of the disease. Ten years after the publication of Law 38/2010, several steps have been taken and many progresses have been made, but there is still much work to be done for its full implementation. As a matter of fact, in Italy, Law 38/2010 is still little known by citizens and most of them ignore important rights for pain therapy and palliative care. This manuscript illustrates the main results of a civic survey promoted in 2020 by Cittadinanzattiva, which photographs how well-informed citizens are on the subject and how well they are able to assert their rights in Italy.

Keywords: Pain relief; Pain management: Civic survey; Covid-19; Italy


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