Law association say 69% of university students agree with euthanasia

In a survey amongst 313 university students, a majority of 69% said they agreed with the introduction of voluntary euthanasia

The Għaqda Studenti tal-Liġi has published a 104-page document analyzing the legal ramifications of euthanasia, without committing itself in favour of its legalisation.

“We have tried to maintain neutrality on the subject. This policy paper puts forward seven proposals which we believe should be adhered to and be an integral part of any attempt at introducing state-sanctioned euthanasia in Malta.”

The law students’ association said any law on medically-assisted suicide should provide a clear, legal definition of euthanasia, provide prior assessments of patients by professionals prior to making such a choice, prohibit minors from undergoing such a procedure, lay down strict criteria on the patient to be able to qualify, with an exhaustive list of the medical conditions the patient must be suffering from in order to qualify for voluntary euthanasia.

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The association also said any law should provide a two-week period between the signing of any document and the commencement of such a procedure to allow adequate time for reflection, and psychological care to both patient and their relatives.

In a survey amongst 313 university students, a majority of 69% said they agreed with the introduction of voluntary euthanasia. 28 students (9.8%) disagreed, while the rest, 21%, said ‘maybe’. Those who disagreed mainly said that euthanasia was contrary to their religious faith, or that it was a form of “direct killing”.

“When compiling this paper, we sought to have a multi-faceted paper as to present a complete insight when discussing this controversial topic… In doing so it is our belief that we have managed to meet our aims, whilst presenting a paper that is comprehensible by students who are both knowledgeable of the law, as well as those who have yet to have a clear understanding of it,” GħSL’s Policy Officer, Lara Attard, said.

GħSL President Jacob Portelli, said: “As an organisation, as students and as active members of society we will not shy away from our role to put forward issues that may not always be favourable, or ones that people may fear to bring up because of the stigma surrounding them. It is therefore our duty to listen, to keep an open mind, to respect the opinion of each and every person and to ultimately educate and act!”