Malta’s leading ALS activist Bjorn Formosa believes euthanasia should be made available for certain cases.
“I’m a terminal patient. I’m not in favour of euthanasia personally, I’m in favour of life and I’m ready to live until I’m 100,” Formosa clarified when asked his position on L-Erbgħa Fost Il-Ġimgħa.
However, the activist said, his organisation encounters patients with the most unforgiving diseases, people often hidden away from the public’s knowledge.
“ALS and Huntington’s disease are some of the worse diseases out there,” Formosa continued.
“There are also extremes, like locked-in syndrome, when a patient is completely paralysed – they can’t even blink but are conscious of what’s happening. Imagine spending day after day without being able to move. It’s not my place to tell such a desperate person that they need to live.”
“These people know what suffering is. Not everyone is like me, so there are certain circumstances where we should discuss having euthanasia available.”
“If I lost my faculty of speech and ability to move my eyes, how would I do the work I’m doing? We need to understand each individual’s case and their sense of life,” the ALS activist added.
Active euthanasia and assisted suicide are illegal in Malta, but the debate has reached national discourse.
Prime Minister Robert Abela has called for a serious discussion on the issue after Deputy Leader Daniel Micallef made a public appeal for a debate after his father battled a serious illness before dying. On a European level, MEP Cyrus Engerer had told this newsroom that he was in favour of having the choice in Malta.
Lovin Malta also interviewed Maltese assisted-dying campaigner Sam Debattista who was diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease at the age of 17.
However, it seems Malta’s MPs are still cold to the idea of introducing legislation on euthanasia.
Read Lovin Malta’s analysis on the state of euthanasia debate on Malta and around the world here.
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