Activities 2010 - European Academy of Sciences and Arts

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Activities 2010 - European Academy of Sciences and Arts

ACTIVITIES 2009

ITALY

An international Conference on the “Decisions of End Life: Science, Ethics and Right”

- was held on March 11 2010 in Rome, at the Pontifical Gregorian University, jointly sponsored

by this University and EASA . The aim of the Conference was to outline introductory

considerations in view of another EASA Conference, to be held next autumn in the same

University, with the purpose to promote a comparison among the European Countries’

strategies and to elaborate useful basis in view of a common European legislation about

the end of life decisions.

After a welcome address of the Rector Prof. Gianfranco Ghirlanda the President of EASA

Prof. Felix Unger in an introductory speech towards an audience of three hundred people

described in short terms the topic of the conference.

Prof. Jam Diacok, S.J. – Dept. of Moral Theology - and Prof. Ottavio De Bertolis – Faculty

of Canon Law – of the Pontifical Gregorian University made, respectively, reflections upon

the ethic and juridical codes on the end of life behavior, while Prof. Sandro Spinsanti, the

Italian delegate of EASA, and director of Giano Institute, dealt with the changes in interaction

between medical doctors and citizens so that the decisions may reflect those

changes in our society. The starting point of his lecture entitled “Pluralism of ethical options

on the end of life and strategies for a civil coexistence” was the consideration that

death is more and more occurring in a medicalized context and following a medical decision

either to intervene in a more or less aggressive treatment that might prolong life or

desist. A second stage of the change, related to death and dying, concerns the plurality of

the ethical options and proper preferences: the right extent of therapeutic interventions

including those that prolong survival is not the same for everyone. There are also different

orientations towards a religious or secular life concept: i.e. guidelines to consider the cure

more or less “proportionate” in the two different cases. The consequence of this new cultural

context is that a doctor is no longer authorized to take decisions about his patient

even when these are based on science and consciousness and are inspired by a high ethical

approach.

He must take any decision together with his patient. This requires a systematic communication

and listening between them. Only this way of practicing medicine at the end of life

will be able to prevail against the juridical mentality which considers all citizens equal to

one another without taking into account fundamental differences. A medicine based on

listening is the best strategy to ensure a peaceful civil coexistence regarding the end of life

decisions.

Maurizio Cumo

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