Welcome to Sellia, Italy

The Town That Just Made Dying a Crime

This article, written by Rafi Schwartz, appears on Good.

In Sellia, Italy, staying healthy isn’t just a matter of good hygienic practice—it’s the law. There, Mayor Davide Zicchinella recently ruled that it is now illegal for the town’s residents to get sick and die.

Admittedly, it’s not the most enforceable legislation.

In fact, it’s not so much meant to be taken seriously as law, at all. Rather, the new…let’s call it a “policy recommendation”… is designed to hammer home the importance of staying healthy to the small town’s 500 or so citizens, more than half of whom are over the age of 65. While getting sick and/or dying won’t land any newly-criminal Sellians in the slammer, residents who schedule an annual physical at the town’s nearby health center will receive a small tax credit, instead.

Sellia now joins the very small number of communities around the world which have banned death within their city limits. Towns in France, Brazil, Japan, and Spain have each, in various ways, legislated against dying, with reasons ranging from the necessity for spiritual purity, to limited burial space.  Read more on Good.


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