Equality law: Doctors want conscientious objection on abortion and euthanasia

The Medical Association of Malta said that the main principles of the equality bill are already established in the medical code of ethics of which doctors are obligated to follow

While a good law, the equality bill goes beyond what it intends to achieve and instead causes problems to medical practice. 

Malta’s chief association of doctors, the Medical Association of Malta (MAM), said the Equality Bill could cause problems for medical practice even while being “a good law”. 

The bill that will prohibit all forms of discrimination based or race, creed, religion or sexual orientation. 

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As more doctors associations line up in a bid to introduce conscientious objection as a right for doctors to have a veto on medical services they deem objectionable, the MAM said it supported the position taken by the Medical Council of Malta (MCC) recommending the need for conscientious objection. 

The MAM said that it agrees with the principles behind the bill, but doctors want to be granted a veto on clinical situations that could force them to act against their ethical convictions, or be deemed liable if they exert their freedom of conscience. 

“The proposed bill goes well beyond its intended objective and can put medical practitioners in difficulty with their personal beliefs on topics such as abortion and euthanasia.” 

MAM said that due to the reasons stated, MAM was calling for the Minister for Justice to carry out proper consultation with the medical sector. “All forms of discrimination must be condemned; however due consideration must be taken so as to avoid unacceptable situations in medical practice,” they said.

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