The 'Biological will' – ensuring dignified end-of-life care


Alternattiva Demokratika considers that the current discussion on euthanasia is a very premature one and that instead the real discussion should be about the possibility for Maltese citizens to be able to draw up  a ‘biological will’.  The two issues are totally separate.  The euthanasia is basically a debate on assisted suicide.

On the other hand, the possibility of drawing up a ‘biological will’ means that a person will have the possibility to, while still healthy or in full possession of one’s mental health, to draw up one’s will regarding the therapeutic interventions which the person deems acceptable in the eventuality of being unable to express one’s opinion because of the seriousness of one’s condition. It is pertinent to point out that patients already can demand withdrawal of treatment. The issue understandably arises if patients are not in a condition to make their own decisions.

AD Chairperson, Prof. Arnold Cassola said:”A ‘biological will’ would allow a person, when still in full possession of one’s intellectual faculties, to declare what kind of treatment to accept and whether to prolong or not in an artificial way – through the use of machines or other artificial systems – a life that would otherwise have naturally come to an end. The standards of palliative care should also be looked into to guarantee dignified end-of-life care for everyone.”

Whilst AD does not agree with the termination of life through euthanasia, it is in favour of the drawing up of ‘living wills’ or ‘biological wills’.