With this order, the Court of Cagliari recognized the right of two spouses – the wife suffering from thalassemia major, and the husband healthy carrier of the same – to resort to medically-assisted procreation and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis in order to have a baby not suffering from the same disease. The order was based on the interpretation of law No. 40 of 2004 that emerged from national jurisprudence even before that the European Court of Human Rights declared the prohibition of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis contrary to Article 8 of the ECHR (Costa and Pavan v. Italy, 2012). Regarding the internal effects of the judgment of the European Court, even after that the Lisbon Treaty has become effective, the Italian courts are not authorized to not apply the national norms that are incompatible with the ECHR; however, as the Constitutional Court has repeatedly clarified, these norms must be interpreted in such a manner as to align them with the provisions of the ECHR, because Article 117.1 of the Constitution imposes respect for international obligations.
Judgment of the European Court of Human Rights of 28 August 2012, Case of Costa and Pavan v. Italy