IVF: ir-riżervi ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika dwar il-proposti li saru

Alternattiva Demokratika il-bieraħ ippubblikat dokument bil-fehmiet tagħha dwar il-proposti tal-Gvern biex jestendi is-servizz tal-IVF.

Il-proposti li saru mill-Gvern jestendu l-faċiltá eżistenti tal-iffrizar minn waħda użabbli f’ċirkustanzi eċċezzjonali għal użu normali, ineħħu l-limitazzjoni konnessi mal-ġeneru għal aċċess għas-servizz, joħloq per konsegwenza d-dritt ta’ donazzjoni kemm tal-isperma mingħand raġel kif ukoll ta’ bajd mingħand mara kif ukoll jippermettu li jkun hemm min joffri ruħu bħala sostitut (surrogate) flok l-omm biex iġġorr it-tarbija waqt it-tqala.

Alternattiva Demokratika iddikjarat li taqbel mal-linji ġenerali tal-proposti imma għandha numru ta’ riżervi importanti dwar dak li qiegħed jiġi propost.

Fil-qosor id-dokument ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika jagħmel dawn l-osservazzjonijiet

  1. Għandna nirrispettaw il-pluralità ta’ valuri etiċi fil-pajjiż u għaldaqstant għandu jkun possibli li persuna li għal raġunijiet ta’ kuxjenza ma taċċettax l-iffriżar tal-embrijuni jkollha l-opinjoni tagħha rispettata u per konsegwenza jkun possibli li tagħmel użu mis-servizz tal-IVF b’din il-limitazzjoni, (opt-out etiku mill-iffrizar): dan id-dritt għandu jkun rikonoxxut minn stat lajk;
  2. Li f’kull ħin għandu jkun rispettat id-dritt tal-informazzjoni, kemm tal-persuna li ser tirċievi d-donazzjoni tal-isperma jew il-bajda kif ukoll ta’ kull wild li jirriżulta, id-dritt tal-informazzjoni jfisser li l-identità ta’ min ikun qed jagħmel id-donazzjoni għandha tkun magħrufa kemm lil min ikun ser jirċievi d-donazzjoni, kif ukoll lill-ulied ġġenerati meta dawn jagħlqu is-16-il sena: is-segretezza mhiex aċċettabbli;
  3. Li hu neċessarju li jsir screening tal-isperma u l-bajda għal mard trasmess ġenetikament;
  4. Nifhmu li s-surrogacy qed tkun proposta bil-kundizzjoni li dan ma jkunx kummerċjalizzat, però għadu mhux ċar kif dan ser isir għax ġaladarba jkun infetaħ il-bieb ser ikun diffiċli li jkun hemm kontrolli effettivi tal-kummerċjalizzazzjoni;
  5. Il-proposta tal-addozzjoni tal-embrijuni ma jidhirx li tista’ tkun implimentata u teħtieġ diskussjoni iktar profonda.

Fid-dawl ta’ dan għandha jkun emfasizzata l-ħtieġa li f’soċjetá li tħaddan il-pluraliżmu etiku nirrispettaw iktar l-opinjonijiet ta’ xulxin. Ovvjament, l-iktar mumenti fejn hu meħtieġ dan ir-rispett hu fejn il-fehmiet jikkuntrastaw: għax fejn dawn jaqblu ma hemm bżonn l-ebda sforz!

Huwa meħtieġ li ma jkunx hemm għaġġla żejda fid-diskussjoni pubblika. Il-Gvern qed jgħaġġel ħafna u mhux jagħti biżżejjed ċans lill-opinjoni pubblika biex tiddiġerixxi biżżejjed dak li qed ikun propost. Għad hemm diversi punti li jeħtieġu iktar ħsieb għax is-soluzzjonijiet proposti mhux ċari. Ikun għaqli għall-Parlament li jidħol f’iktar dettall dwar l-implikazzjonijiet tas- soluzzjonijiet proposti u dan billi fost oħrajn jitlob direttament hu l-assistenza ta’ esperti biex jgħinuh jindirizza xi difetti tal-proposti li qed jipproponi l-Gvern.

Alternattiva Demokratika tittama li l-Parlament jagħmel xogħolu sewwa. L-ebda mandat elettorali ma jagħti lill-Gvern is-setgħa li jagħmel li jrid. Tajjeb li niftakru li għalkemm diffiċli biex jitħaddmu jeżistu rimedji f’kaz li l-Parlament jonqos mill-jagħmel xogħolu sewwa.

The Planning Authority and its “principles”

Searching through the Strategic Plan for Environment and Development (SPED), the term “principle” is not found in any shape or form. We are slightly luckier if we conduct a similar search in the Development Planning Act (DPA) of 2016: there are three references to principles – guiding principles – which should be observed by the Maltese state in promoting a “comprehensive, sustainable, land use planning system”.

These guiding principles are briefly explained in article 3 of the 2016 DPA. Their objective is to enhance the quality of life for the benefit of present and future generations and is qualified by the standard Brundtland quote from her UN report Our Common Future: ” ………without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” That means that sustainability is included in the actual wording of the 2016 DPA. Actually, as we are all aware, this is lip-service in its worst form, because in real life we know full well that Malta’s Planning Authority does not seek the benefit of either the present or future generations.

Article 3 of the 2016 DPA lists various measures which need to be taken. They are specific and range from the need “to preserve, use and develop land and sea for this and future generations”, to ensuring that “planning policies are unambiguous”. Then Article 4 of the 2016 DPA states that we cannot go to a Court of Law to directly enforce the principles announced in the previous article, but, it is underlined that these principles are of a fundamental nature and have to be employed in the interpretation of planning law and policies.

This begs the question as to what extent the Planning Authority, as government’s land use planning agent, observes these basic principles and, in particular, whether the various planning policies in use are actually meant to enhance the quality of life of present and future generations.

There have been various political declarations that land use planning should be more friendly to developers, obviously assisting them to “make hay while the sun shines”. The developers, we are repeatedly told, need to be assured of reasonable expectations, as, poor fellows, they have to earn a living – even if this is at the expense of our quality of life.

As an example, may I ask to what extent is, for example, the Fuel Service Station Policy compatible with the basic principles that the Planning Authority is obliged to apply? In recent weeks I have written extensively about the matter because, to me, it is crystal clear that this Policy is not in any way compatible with the Planning Authority’s basic principles. In neither its present form, nor in the slightly diluted format proposed by the Environment and Resources Authority, does the Fuel Service Stations Policy respect the basic principles enshrined in the 2016 DPA.

The government knows this because, as far back as last September, it announced that “shortly” a public consultation exercise would commence on the manner of implementing a policy to ban cars having an internal combustion engine from being used on our roads.

After almost eight months, this “shortly” to be announced public consultation has still not commenced. The announcement that the public consultation would be announced “shortly” was not made by a new Minister, enthusiastic and overwhelmed by a difficult portfolio; it was made by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat in one of his Sunday sermons – the one delivered at the Rialto Bormla on 10 September 2017.

If we will not have cars on our roads running on petrol or diesel “shortly” why does the Planning Authority consider it necessary to permit more fuel service stations? It is certainly not in the interest of future generations.

The Planning Authority is entrusted to defend the interests of future generations. In my opinion it has failed in observing its brief as it has lost sight of its basic principles.

Published on the Malta Independent on Sunday : 22 April 2018