The equality bill goes well beyond its intended objective and can put medical practitioners in difficulty, the Medical Association of Malta said.
The bill is currently being debated in parliament and aims to promote equality and discourage all forms or discrimination based or race, creed, religion or sexual orientation.
These are very well-established principles of medical ethics which doctors have been obliged to follow since many years, and which can be enforced by the Medical Council. These ethical principles are included in the curriculum of medical students, and specialist trainees alike, MAM said.
While the MAM is in agreement with the principles behind the bill, it formally supports the position taken by the Medical Council of Malta recommending the need for conscientious objection, and that amendments are necessary in this regard.
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.
For the above reason the MAM appealed to the Minister for Justice to carry out a 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, MAM said.