During the last two decades there has been a growing public debate in Italy on important bioethical issues, in particular those concerning the «end of life». The debate, often influenced by media and emotionally charged news, has focused on crucial topics such as forestalled statements on treatment and euthanasia. It has, however, neglected problems that are at the origin of such aspects, as for example the issue of pain as an effect of pathologies and terminal illnesses, or invasive and invalidating treatments. This has led to a severe delay both in scientific and cultural elaboration of these issues, and in therapies and health policies. This article approaches these topics as well as the offer of qualified services against «unnecessary» pain, considering the new law on the matter recently approved by Italian parliament.