The law contains no specific provision on the use of medical reports in support of the applicant’s statements regarding past persecutions or serious harm. Nevertheless, the Qualification Decree states that the assessment of an application for international protection is to be carried out taking into account all the relevant documentation presented by the applicant, including information on whether the applicant has been or may be subject to persecution or serious harm.
Moreover, a medico-legal report may attest the applicant’s inability or unfitness to attend a personal interview. According to the Procedure Decree, the Territorial Commissions may omit the personal interview when the applicant is unable or unfit to face the interview as certified by a public health unit or a doctor working with the National Health System. The applicant can also ask for the postponement of the personal interview providing the Territorial Commission with pertinent medical documentation.
The Qualification Decree allows the Territorial Commission to seek advice, whenever necessary, from experts on particular issues, such as medical, cultural, religious, child-related or gender issues. Where the Territorial Commission deems it relevant for the assessment of the application, it may, subject to the applicant’s consent, arrange for a medical examination of the applicant concerning signs that might indicate past persecution or serious harm according to the Guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health by decree on 3 April 2017 to implement Article 27(1-bis) of the Qualification Decree (see Content of Protection: Health Care). When no medical examination is provided by the Territorial Commission, the applicants may, on their own initiative and at their own cost, arrange for such a medical examination and submit the results to the Territorial Commission for the examination of their applications.
In practice, medico-legal reports are generally submitted to the Territorial Commissions by specialised NGOs, legal representatives and personnel working in the reception centres before, or sometimes during or after, the substantive interview at first instance. They may also be submitted to judicial authorities during the appeal stage.
The degree of consistency between the clinical evidence and the account of torture is assessed in accordance with the Guidelines of the Istanbul Protocol and recent specialised research.
Medical reports are provided to asylum seekers free of charge. NGOs may guarantee support and medical assistance through ad hoc projects.
 Article 3 Qualification Decree.
 Article 12(2) Procedure Decree.
 Article 5(4) PD 21/2015.
 Article 27(1-bis) Qualification Decree.
 Article 8(3-bis) Procedure Decree.