Skip to content

Malta: Health Minister welcomes doctor-assisted dying debate.

Health Minister Jo Etienne Abela’s personal contacts with terminally ill patients has led him to call on the government to discuss doctor-assisted dying legislation in addition to investing in palliative care. In an interview with the Malta Times he said, “I oppose broad forms of euthanasia but, as a doctor, I’ve seen terminal illnesses advance beyond any hope of cure or survival. I dealt with the worst forms of lethal cancers in my career. I have seen and lived with people who were at a point where they had no way out. And that suffering disturbs me. Sometimes, even the best palliative care leaves patients in a lot of pain, with no hope of living. In those circumstances, I believe doctor-assisted suicide is justified.”

A poll by conducted by Esprimi revealed that 61.1% of Maltese were in favour of legislation giving the right to choose for assisted dying if they were suffering from an incurable condition.

The Labour government promised in its 2022 election platform to discuss the matter, as deputy leader Daniel Micallef lost his father to illness.

Read more: Watch: Health Minister open to doctor-assisted dying in extreme cases (

Majority agree with euthanasia when faced with incurable conditions (