Id-deċiżjoni tax-xjenzat Awstraljan David Goodall li jtemm ħajtu fl-età ta’ 104 snin tqajjem riflessjonijiet interessanti. Nitkellmu ħafna dwar id-dritt għal ħajja ta’ kull individwu imma ftit li xejn dwar id-dritt għall-mewt.

Minn kliemu, Goodall kien jemmen li l-individwu għandu d-dritt jaqtagħha għalih innifsu kif u sakemm għandu jgħix ħajtu. Minħabba l-età li laħaq għaliha, hu ftit diffiċli li lilu tiċħadlu dan id-dritt, għalkemm ftit huma l-pajjiżi sa issa li jirrikonoxxuh. Id-diffikoltà tqum f’każi fejn l-individwu għadu f’dak li hu (jew seta’ kien) l-iprem żmien ta’ ħajtu. Għandu ħaddieħor jidħol fil-mertu ta’ deċiżjoni ta’ swiċidju “ippjanat” fil-każ ta’ mard mimli uġigħ? ta’ dipressjoni qawwija? jew ta’ kwalunkwe raġuni oħra?

Hemm ukoll il-punt li l-ebda individwu ma jgħix waħdu. X’influwenza għandhom l-oħrajn fuq id-deċiżjoni li jieħu l-individwu? – kemm biex iwassluh għaliha, kemm biex jgħinuh iwettaqha.

Waqt li nifhem u naċċetta d-deċiżjoni ta’ Goodall, m’inix żgur li jista’ jkollna tweġiba waħda għall-problema li hu affaċċja.

IVF

Dejjem fuq is-suġġett tal-ħajja: ma nifhimx id-diffikultajiet ta’ min jara ħaġa ta’ barraminnhawn l-idea li embrijuni jiġu ffriżati. Il-kwistjoni hi simili għal dik tad-divorzju: jekk ma taqbilx magħha, tidħolx għaliha imma tipprojbihiex għal ħaddieħor.

L-ilħna fondamentalisti huma qawwija f’pajjiżna. Forsi qed jerġgħu jagħmlu l-iżball li kienu għamlu dwar id-divorzju. Aktar ma jagħfsu b’mod assolut fuq ir-“raġun” tagħhom, aktar ibiegħdu minnhom sezzjonijiet tal-opinjoni publika. Aktar jifformaw kuxjenzi li għax l-argumenti tagħhom ma jaslux, jaddottaw opinjoni bil-maqlub għal tagħhom. Dan l-aħħar iltqajt ma’ żewġ koppji li fissruli kif hekk ġralhom.

Teżisti “best practice” medika ta’ kif isir l-iffriżar u kif jinżammu l-embrijuni ffriżati. Kull ma għandu jsir hu li din il-prattika tiġi segwita u aġġornata maż-żmien.

Jekk nieħdu sal-punt loġiku aħħari tagħhom l-argumenti li jintużaw dwar il-qerda tal-embrijuni, dawn għandhom iwasslu biex wieħed jinsisti ħalli tinstab u tintuża mediċina li ma tħalli l-ebda tqala naturali tispiċċa hesrem.

SANZJONIJIET

Jekk l-Istati Uniti se jimponu s-sanzjonijiet tagħhom fuq kull min jagħmel negozju mal-Iran, se joħolqu taħwid ġdid fit-tmexxija ekonomika dinjija.

Diffiċli biex dawk il-pajjiżi li ma jaqblux mad-deċiżjoni tal-President Trump li jabroga l-ftehim nukleari mal-Iran, u mhumiex se jsostnuha, imbagħad jissottomettu ruħhom għat-twettiq tas-sanzjonijiet li l-Istati Uniti se jerġgħu jimponu fuq l-Iran. Fosthom hemm l-Unjoni Ewropea.

Jekk is-sanzjonijiet Amerikani jibdew jolqtu wkoll ditti Ewropej li mhumiex marbutin bid-deċiżjoni – aktar u aktar jekk diġà fetħu kuntratti mal-Iran – il-biċċa se tagħqad b’mod li jikkomplika sew ir-relazzjonijiet bejn l-alleati tal-Punent.

English Version – Death at 104

The decision taken by Australian scientist David Goodall to end his life at age 104 makes for interesting reflections. We debate much about every individual’s right to life but much much less about the right to die.

His statements show that Goodall believed the individual does have the right to decide for himself how and up to when he should live. Given the age to which he himself had survived, it is somewhat hard to deny him such a right, though as of now few countries actually recognize it. Difficulties arise when an individual still is in the prime of life (or should be). Must others evaluate the positives and negatives of a “planned” suicide in the case of a hugely painful illness? of a deep depression? or indeed of any other rationale?

Then there is the point that no individual lives by him/herself. What influence do others have on the decision he/she takes? Both by way of leading him/her to it, as well as to help him/her carry it out.

While understanding and accepting Goodall’s decision, I’m not sure there can be just one reply to the problem he faced.

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IVF

Still on the subject of human life: I cannot understand the objections of those who consider as out of this world the idea that embryos should be frozen and kept in that state. The issue is similar to that of divorce. If you disagree with it, keep away from it but do not prohibit the procedure for others.

Fundamentalist voices remain powerful in this country. But they could be making the same mistake as in the divorce controversy. The more they insist on how absolutely right they are, the more they lose ground among different strands of public opinion. They end up arousing a consciousness that their arguments do not add up – which leads to the adoption of conclusions that are contrary to theirs. Recently I met two couples who described how this is what happened in their case.

There exists medically a best practice regarding how embryo freezing should be conducted and managed. What needs to be done is to follow this practice and to ensure that it is updated all the time.

If one carries the arguments being deployed about the destruction of embryos to their final logical conclusion, they should lead to the outright imperative that medical remedies must be found and applied to ensure that no miscarriages happen in all “natural” pregnancies

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Sanctions

If the US are going to impose sanctions on all those who do business with Iran, they will end up creating new upheavals in global economic management.

It is difficult for those powers which disagree with the Trump decision and will not back it, to then submit to the sanctions that the US will be applying to Iran. The EU is among them.

If American sanctions begin to affect European firms which are not bound by the US decision – even more so if they have already signed contracts with Iran – the whole matter could trigger significant complications in relations between the Western allies.