Carlo Flamigni has died, a life for women’s rights


Carlo Flamigni, doctor, gynecologist, writer, father of assisted reproduction, former member of the National Bioethics Committee and director of the obstetrics clinic of the University of Bologna, died at 87. A life spent for women’s rights, for freedom of choice, for the defense of laws such as that on abortion. He lived in Forlì in his family home. And right in the city of Romagna the mortuary: tomorrow, Monday 6 July, from 14 to 19 and Tuesday from 7 to 14. At 15 there will be a short greeting. His son, Carlo Andrea, remembers him on Facebook as follows: “Hi dad, I hoped that this moment would never come, the pain is at least as great as the good I wanted you … but one day we will see each other again prof.”Flamigni, one of the world’s leading assisted fertilization experts, took an active part in the debate that had developed in Italy at the time of the approval of Law 40 of 2004 which introduced the use of these techniques in our country, and in the next job to edit it.
Born in Forlì on 4 February 1933, Flamigni graduated in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Bologna in July 1959, with a subsequent specialist diploma in Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Professor of various courses at Alma Mater, he was director of the Obstetric and Gynecological Clinic of the University of Bologna from November 1994 to December 2001.
His scientific production is impressive, with over a thousand original memoirs, numerous monographs and some popular books. He has published numerous articles on various bioethical problems.From 1990 to 1994 and from 1999 to 2004 he was President of SIFES – Italian Society of Fertility and Sterility and Reproductive Medicine. He was also a member of the National Bioethics Committee. From December 2015 he was also a member of the Ethics Committee of the State University of Milan. External expert of the Veronesi Foundation. Research themes of recent years: male contraception; assisted fertilization techniques; the problems of bioethics and medical ethics.

“I was with him last night, he is an immeasurable loss from many points of view, he is one of the last true masters both on a scientific and personal and human level: he knew how to teach things of trade and wisdom of life, a man of rare thickness”, remember the pupil Carlo Bulletti, specialist in gynecology and obstetrics, now professor at Yale University.

in reproduction ….

Also Corrado Melega, former director of the maternity hospital of the Maggiore hospital in Bologna, former municipal councilor of the Democratic Party, was one of his disciples. He remembers him thus: “A piece of my life and the history of Bolognese and Italian medicine has gone. An important, innovative, polemic, breaking man. He was still working, not so much as a gynecologist but had become an expert in bioethics, he was interested in problems concerning the ethics of reproduction, parenting. He fought for women’s rights, he was a great champion of secularism. His battles against conservatism, conformism, a certain type of rear-guard Catholicism have remained famous. Or his activity in defense of 194 and for assisted fertilization. He inserted these themes into a more general horizon of tolerance, freedom of expression and choice: all those things that are in danger in Italy at the moment ”.


“Those prayers are an expression of a medieval church. Feminists react to a bad provocation that humiliates women”, he said to Repubblica in 2014, commenting on the clash in front of the Sant’Orsola polyclinic between the Catholics who prayed against abortion and the feminists who responded by singing “Bella Ciao”. Because behind an abortion, he said, there is “suffering. It is a complicated choice. I remember women with their heads down, who don’t want to be seen. I ask those who say the prayers where their compassion is, to consider these women, victims of imprudent boyfriends, of lack of education. Behind it lies the selfishness, ignorance, indolence of men, there is the social responsibility of how we educate our male children not to respect girls, sisters, companions “.“That anger”, he exclaimed, again that year, when Emilia hesitated on heterologous fertilization. He criticized “choices without courage” while couples “are forced to go abroad”. He blamed politics for getting sideways, and therefore not guaranteeing a right. He professed secularism, because “the moral rules of today are not the same as yesterday’s. And in the future they will still be different. There is no written morality. But it is dictated by common sense. That changes, like science. Today is coming artificial uterus, oocytes freeze when young when genetic defects are not yet expressed in order to be able to have children later. These are issues that go beyond the morality written above by who knows who. “

A life for rights. The same as the doctor’s wife, the sociologist Marina Mengarelli Flamigni, he said in a book recently released in the library for Pendragon, “Rights that walk. A look at civil rights in Italy from 1968 to today through the eyes of Carlo Flamigni “. The narration of the battles he experienced firsthand in Italy: the sexuality revolution, contraception, reproduction, the beginning and end of life. “A real history of civil rights struggles in our country”.

in reproduction ….

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