Malta: Say Yes to Funding for Palliative Care, No to Euthanasia and Assisted-suicide!

Make Malta a Centre of Excellence for Palliative Care and Say No to Euthanasia and Assited-suicide

 

Malta: Say Yes to Funding for Palliative Care, No to Euthanasia and Assisted-suicide!

Malta: Say Yes to Funding for Palliative Care, No to Euthanasia and Assisted-suicide!

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Recent stories in the Times of Malta and The Malta Independent have revealed the Government's intentions to "delve into" the issue of Euthanasia after the Summer recess. [Please see the articles at the bottom of the page for more information.]

This represents a dangerous U-turn from what was said earlier in the year by Civil Liberties Minister, Helena Dalli. Just a scant 5 months ago, in February, Minister Dalli said that Euthanasia was not on the Government's agenda, and also rightly said that, "the issue of euthanasia was not part of the electoral manifesto."

In the meantime, there has been a concerted effort, on the part of some promoters, to actively campaign for the legalisation of Euthanasia. In particular, two ALS sufferers, who also advocate for Euthanasia, Mr Joe Magro and Mr Bjorn Formosa, have been hitting the headlines with a so-called "right-to-die" platform.

Unfortunately, what often goes unsaid in these very emotive pleas to alleviate suffering is a discussion about how Euthanasia and Assisted-suicide are actually defined.

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition define Euthanasia as: "[A]n act or omission of an act that is done to directly and intentionally cause the death of another person in order to end suffering."

And, they go on to rightly point out: "Euthanasia is a form of homicide because it involves the direct and intentional causing of death of another person, and it is usually done by lethal injection."

Essentially, society is being asked to permit homocide, which should be unthinkable, especially given the advances in palliative care.

But, the other glaring omission in the Maltese media's reporting of this issue has been the lack of balance from the community of people with disabilities. In the UK and around the world, for example, disability activists in organisations such as Not Dead Yet and Care Not Killing, have helped succeed in achieving the UK Parliament's overwhelming rejection of a so-called right-to-die Bill, just last September.

Not Dead Yet UK (NDYUK) makes the following declaration on their website:

"We believe individual disabled people’s suicidal cries for help come from a lack of proper practical, emotional and medical support needed to live dignified lives, rather than from the ‘suffering’ they experience as a result of a medical condition.  Such loss of hope – which forces some to see death as their only option – is easily misinterpreted in a society that continues to see and treat disabled people as second class citizens.  Individuals risk being easily exploited by the ‘right-to-die’ movement or, worse, by family, friends and health care professionals. Their attitude is not compassionate – it is prejudiced and disablist. We oppose policies that single out individuals for legalised killing based on their medical condition or prognosis."

Whether one agrees fully with NDYUK's assessment, this is the kind of robust information about Euthanasia/Assisted-suicide, so lacking in Maltese media right now.

But, given the fact that legalising Euthanasia will place an unfair, unethical and immoral burden on OTHER people to actively kill another human being, Maltese politicians need to resoundingly hear public opposition to this idea.

It is absolutely right for the state to intervene to help save and preserve life; it is absolutely wrong for the state to allow the intentional killing of an innocent human being.

Therefore, this petition, directed to the three sitting Chairmen of the conjoint Parliamentary Committee of Health, Family and Social Affairs - Dr Godfrey Farrugia MP, Mr Anthony Agius Decelis MP, and Dr Etienne Grech MP - asks for them to recommend that the Government make available the necessary funding to allow Malta to become a regional centre of excellence for palliative care, rather than forcing Malta's family-orientated society towards the dark choices involved in Euthanasia and Assisted-suicide.

Thank you for signing this urgent petition.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20160717/local/interview-as-a-doctor-i-am-against-euthanasia-as-a-politician-i-am.619033

http://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2016-07-20/local-news/Two-out-of-three-chairmen-on-parliamentary-health-committee-against-euthanasia-6736161241

http://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2016-07-18/local-news/AD-believes-the-debate-on-euthanasia-to-be-premature-calls-for-introduction-of-biological-will-6736161170

http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/national/62456/euthanasia_not_on_governments_agenda#.V5PeWKLkocP

http://notdeadyetuk.org/about/

http://www.epcc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/pamphletFORWEB.pdf

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-34208624

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Palliative Care is Dignified for Individual and Society, not Euthanasia

For the Kind Attention of the three Chairmen of the conjoint Parliamentary Committee of Health, Family and Social Affairs:

  • Hon Godfrey Farrugia MP - Government Whip and Chairman of the Family Affairs Committee
  • Hon Anthony Agius Decelis MP - Chairman of the Social Affairs Committee
  • Hon Etienne Grech MP - Chairman of the Parliamentary Health Committee

Recent reports in the media suggest that the conjoint Parliamentary Committee of Health, Family and Social Affairs will be returning to the issue of Euthanasia in the Autumn after the Summer recess.

Although we, the undersigned, feel very deep sympathy for such people as ALS sufferers Mr Joe Magro and Mr Bjorn Formosa, who have been in the spotlight over the last few months, we must alert you chairmen to the fact, that, with new medical advances, there is now a compassionate pro-life solution to the problem of suffering, without resorting to Euthanasia or Assisted-suicide.

We must also remind you of the definition of Euthanasia, as given by the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition: "Euthanasia is an act, or omission of an act, that is done to directly and intentionally cause the death of another person in order to end suffering."

It must be acknowledged, therefore, that what Euthanasia demands from society is to permit homocide. In fact, legalising Euthanasia will place an unfair, unethical and immoral burden on OTHER people to actively kill another human being.

Assisted-suicide is only slightly different, in that the suffering person is facilitated in taking their own life. Here, the intention of the facilitator - to help kill another person - remains the same.

Society is now often made to feel "guilty", by certain campaigners and certain elements in the media, if any opposition to Euthanasia and Assisted-suicide is raised.

This is wrong.

Society has the right to say "No" to Euthanasia and Assisted-suicide. In fact, it has a duty to say "No" to Death, and "Yes" to Life.

Society and Government owe a duty of care to those who are suffering with severe illnesses -- to help alleviate the pain as much as possible and to shower them with love and compassion. But, not to kill them, or help them kill themselves. No state has the "right" to sanction the taking of innocent life.

What kind of person helps someone commit suicide, rather than showing them love? The same question can be asked about a country.

As you go on your Summer recess, it would be well for you to reflect on one of the slogans used by members of the global alliance Not Dead Yet, a community of disability activists opposed to Assisted-suicide/Euthanasia: "Assist Us to Live, Not Die."

The UK Parliament voted overwhelmingly, just last year, to reject a Euthanasia/Assisted-suicide Bill. At least some countries can see the clear and present danger of opening the door to Euthanasia/Assisted-suicide.

Please ensure that Malta gives the utmost in compassion, by recommending that sufficient funding be allocated to make Malta a regional centre of excellence for palliative care. At the same time, please reject the death culture of Euthanasia and Assisted-suicide.

Thank you for your serious consideration.

[Your Name]

Palliative Care is Dignified for Individual and Society, not Euthanasia

For the Kind Attention of the three Chairmen of the conjoint Parliamentary Committee of Health, Family and Social Affairs:

  • Hon Godfrey Farrugia MP - Government Whip and Chairman of the Family Affairs Committee
  • Hon Anthony Agius Decelis MP - Chairman of the Social Affairs Committee
  • Hon Etienne Grech MP - Chairman of the Parliamentary Health Committee

Recent reports in the media suggest that the conjoint Parliamentary Committee of Health, Family and Social Affairs will be returning to the issue of Euthanasia in the Autumn after the Summer recess.

Although we, the undersigned, feel very deep sympathy for such people as ALS sufferers Mr Joe Magro and Mr Bjorn Formosa, who have been in the spotlight over the last few months, we must alert you chairmen to the fact, that, with new medical advances, there is now a compassionate pro-life solution to the problem of suffering, without resorting to Euthanasia or Assisted-suicide.

We must also remind you of the definition of Euthanasia, as given by the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition: "Euthanasia is an act, or omission of an act, that is done to directly and intentionally cause the death of another person in order to end suffering."

It must be acknowledged, therefore, that what Euthanasia demands from society is to permit homocide. In fact, legalising Euthanasia will place an unfair, unethical and immoral burden on OTHER people to actively kill another human being.

Assisted-suicide is only slightly different, in that the suffering person is facilitated in taking their own life. Here, the intention of the facilitator - to help kill another person - remains the same.

Society is now often made to feel "guilty", by certain campaigners and certain elements in the media, if any opposition to Euthanasia and Assisted-suicide is raised.

This is wrong.

Society has the right to say "No" to Euthanasia and Assisted-suicide. In fact, it has a duty to say "No" to Death, and "Yes" to Life.

Society and Government owe a duty of care to those who are suffering with severe illnesses -- to help alleviate the pain as much as possible and to shower them with love and compassion. But, not to kill them, or help them kill themselves. No state has the "right" to sanction the taking of innocent life.

What kind of person helps someone commit suicide, rather than showing them love? The same question can be asked about a country.

As you go on your Summer recess, it would be well for you to reflect on one of the slogans used by members of the global alliance Not Dead Yet, a community of disability activists opposed to Assisted-suicide/Euthanasia: "Assist Us to Live, Not Die."

The UK Parliament voted overwhelmingly, just last year, to reject a Euthanasia/Assisted-suicide Bill. At least some countries can see the clear and present danger of opening the door to Euthanasia/Assisted-suicide.

Please ensure that Malta gives the utmost in compassion, by recommending that sufficient funding be allocated to make Malta a regional centre of excellence for palliative care. At the same time, please reject the death culture of Euthanasia and Assisted-suicide.

Thank you for your serious consideration.

[Your Name]