Any increased costs created by the Assisted Dying Bill have yet top be determined, a Treasury member has revealed.

Douglas Central MHK Chirs Thomas asked member for Treasury Dr Michelle Haywood what increase in expenditure the Assisted Dying Bill involves and what consent for this has Treasury given.

The Assisted Dying Bill, introduced by Dr Alex Allinson, MHK for Ramsey and a GP, proposes that the option of assisted dying should be available as a choice for terminally ill, mentally competent residents, subject to strict safeguards.

Dr Haywood told Tuesday’s House of Keys sitting the Treasury had not yet undertaken to weigh up what costs the bill could incur if it becomes law and it would be ‘speculative’ to do so.

She said: ‘I am not sure Treasury consent is required. But any costs would be speculative without the bill finalised and fully understood.

‘The cost implications remain unclear at this stage. I don’t know if costs would increase or decrease if the Bill was passed and we cannot estimate they properly.

‘The Bill has been approved by Treasury on the basis it is difficult to estimate any costs at this stage.’

Dr Haywood said Treasury would look at the bill once more when costs are better known.

The question was asked just hours before members finally completed the clauses stage of the controversial Bill during the afternoon, following seven days of debate across three months.

Dr Alex Allinson and CEO of Dignity in Dying, Sarah Wootton
(Rebecca Brahde)

Consideration of the Bill over the last few months has seen majority backing for key clauses, and constructive amendments.

Last week, members rejected Chief Minister Alfred Cannan’s proposal for a referendum on the issue. If approved, his motion would have delayed any legislation coming into effect.

In the first session, MHKs voted by a large margin for assisted dying to be available to terminally ill patients who have been given a prognosis of 12 months or less left to live and to restrict it those who been resident of the Isle of Man for a minimum of five years.

During further sessions MHKs voted in favour of limiting assisted dying to self-administration, removing the possibility of a doctor directly ending the life of their patient.

Other measures around ensuring legal and workplace protection for medical professionals who participate in assisted dying have also been agreed, while a request from the British Medical Association (BMA) for an opt-in model for doctors who choose to be part of the service was approved.

Now the clauses stage the Bill is complete, it will receive a third reading in the House of Keys on July 23.

It will then progress to the Legislative Council for further debate and scrutiny. The Bill could receive Royal Assent as soon as next year, followed by consideration of how the legislation will be implemented, with assisted dying potentially available to terminally ill Manx residents from 2027.