“I am not afraid of being dead. I only ask for dignity in dying.” A heartfelt appeal by Dr Mark Said for Malta to consider euthanasia legislation.
In his article on TheJournal.mt, Dr Said, a seasoned Maltese lawyer, shares his personal experience after having been diagnosed with a debilitating disease.
Dr Said explains how his position on this sensitive subject has developed over the years. After opposing such legislation for a number of years, he started having second thoughts after witnessing “needless and hopeless sufferings” of family members and close acquaintances.
His recent diagnosis led him to share his opinion on the subject.
“I have developed a debilitating, practically terminal disease that will eventually immobilise me completely and make me a helpless and useless burden on everything and everyone, not to mention the pain and sufferings I will have to go through. A future hard to digest.”
“The experience of death is going to get more and more painful, contrary to what many people believe.” Dr Said explains.
“The experience of death is going to get more and more painful, contrary to what many people believe.”
He refers to the conservative stand adopted by the Church and NGOs, noting that only the Labour Movement has taken an unprecedented step of bringing the subject up for discussion.
Dr Said mentions three arguments in favour. Firstly, that allowing people to die with dignity is kinder than forcing them to continue living in suffering. Secondly, that many people want the right to choose when to die. Thirdly, that euthanasia can be easily controlled through sound legislation.
Despite these arguments in favour, Dr Said still acknowledges a number of issues that might arise.
“Surely, however, the debate should not be about the right to die but about the right to help patients terminate their lives when helplessly, terminally ill. We have no control over how we arrive in the world but at the end of life, we should have control over how we leave it, without in any way debasing the value of life.”
In May, TheJournal.mt revealed that for the first time ever, Malta recorded a majority in support of the introduction of euthanasia. A survey by Dr Vince Marmara showed that 52.6% support the right of terminally ill and suffering patients to end their life in dignity.
Read Dr Mark Said’s full article here.