The right to oncological oblivion is the law

Unanimously approved by the Senate. It had already been approved by the House

The right to oncological oblivion is the law. The Senate gave the green light unanimously, with 139 votes, to the bill which introduces ‘provisions for the prevention of discrimination and the protection of the rights of people who have been affected by oncological diseases’, already approved by the Chamber. Many speeches by senators in the Chamber with heartfelt tones, given the topic, with the bipartisan awareness of action a step forward for the rights of cancer patients and those who recover and will be able to look to the future with more rights. “Congratulations to the Senate, because we have voted on a great law”, said the president in office, Gian Marco Centinaio.

The text

From access to a mortgage, to financing, to insurance policies, up to a process of adopting a child or fostering a minor, passing through competitions and work. These are some of the areas in which the law on oncological oblivion will have a strong impact, thanks to which people who have recovered from cancer will have the right not to provide information or undergo investigations regarding their previous pathological condition. The Guarantor for the protection of personal data will monitor the application of the provisions of the law.

Here is what the law that introduces the ‘right to be forgotten following oncological recovery’ provides in detail. For the purposes of stipulating or renewing contracts relating to banking, financial, investment and insurance services, the request for information relating to the state of health of the contracting natural person concerning oncological pathologies from which the same has previously been affected and the whose active treatment has been completed, without episodes of relapse, more than 10 years ago at the date of the request. This period is reduced by half if the pathology arose before the age of 21. This information cannot be acquired even from sources other than the contractor and, if it is in any case available to the operator or intermediary, it cannot be used to determine the contractual conditions.

As regards adoption and fostering procedures for minors, the investigations carried out on potential parents or foster carers cannot concern their state of health. In particular, it is established that these investigations cannot concern oncological pathologies 10 years after the end of the therapeutic treatment, in the absence of relapses or relapses, or 5 years if the pathology arose before the age of 21.

As regards access to competitive procedures, when within their scope the verification of psychophysical requirements or concerning the state of health of the candidates is foreseen, it is forbidden to request information relating to the state of health concerning oncological pathologies from which they have been previously affected and whose active treatment has been completed, without episodes of relapse, for more than 10 years at the date of the request. Period reduced by half if the pathology arose before the age of 21.

It is referred to a decree of the Minister of Labor and Social Policies, in agreement with the Minister of Health – after consulting the cancer patient organizations that are registered in the Association Networks section of the Single National Register of the Third Sector or that have the legal form of associations second level registered in the aforementioned Register – the promotion of specific active policies to ensure, for every person who has been affected by an oncological pathology, equality of opportunity in entering and staying at work, in the use of the related services, and in retraining career paths and salaries.


“The approval of the law on the right to be forgotten on cancer places Italy at the forefront in Europe. It is a battle of civilization that marks the end of too many discriminations suffered so far by citizens who have recovered from cancer. We are proud to have contributed to this important result”. The Italian Association of Medical Oncology (Aiom) and the Aiom Foundation applaud the Senate’s decision to approve unanimously and without modifications the text which already received the approval of the Chamber of Deputies last July.

“Citizens cured of cancer in Italy will no longer be discriminated against in their social, professional and family life – states Francesco Perrone, president of Aiom -. In fact, specific rules are envisaged that protect former patients from possible discrimination in the insurance and financial fields, as well as in the workplace. The law also approved in the Senate provides for the prohibition on requesting information on a previous oncological pathology after 10 years from the end of the treatments in the absence of recurrence of the disease in this period. For patients whose diagnosis occurred before the age of 21, this limit is reduced to 5 years. The law not only protects in relationships with banks and insurance companies but also in insolvency proceedings, if physical suitability is required and in adoption proceedings. It is, therefore, a more advanced law than that established in other states that have already adopted regulations on this issue”.

It is also envisaged that, with procedures to be defined through a technical table of the Ministry of Health, tables will be established that allow these times to be further reduced based on the different oncological pathology. “We are ready to collaborate with the institutions to define the tables and make the new rule immediately operational in detail – explain Saverio Cinieri, president of the Aiom Foundation and Giordano Beretta, Past President of the Foundation -. We have finally arrived at the definition of an ethical law, of a law of civility that improves the reintegration into active life of citizens who have overcome the oncological pathology. There are 3.6 million people in Italy living with a diagnosis of cancer and approximately one million must be considered cured. It is essential to allow patients , especially the youngest, to enjoy a free and complete life after the end of treatment. In February 2022, the European Commission, as part of the European Oncology Plan, hoped that all member states would adopt a law on the ‘Right to Oncological Oblivion’ by 2025. In the last two years, the AIOM Foundation has launched an important and effective information campaign, #ionnotmycancer. With our online petition we have collected over 108 thousand signatures. It was a very important battle, which contributed to achieving this important result.”