Ramsey MHK Alex Allinson will introduce a Bill today (Tuesday) to enable adults who are terminally ill to request assisted dying.
This will be the second time he attempts to introduce it, following a rejection in January 2020 in Tynwald.
He said last year of the rejection: ‘In January 2020, I triggered a debate around the legislation necessary to enable assisted dying for people on our island.
‘It was clear at the time that whilst there was general support for such a move, politicians wanted to learn more about the subject and the range of options introduced in other jurisdictions.’
In December 2021, Jersey’s States Assembly, the island’s parliament, voted by 36 to 10 to support a proposition on assisted dying, paving the way for it to be the first British jurisdiction to permit the choice.
The assembly was asked to agree in principle that assisted dying should be allowed in the island in limited circumstances, after a citizens’ jury was tasked with examining the arguments for and against legalisation earlier this year.
The jury strongly recommended that the law should be changed.
As a British Crown Dependency, Jersey is able to legislate on this matter independently from the UK government – as would be the case if we were to legalise assisted dying in our island.
Jersey became the first place in the British Isles to offer it.
Elsewhere, Guernsey’s politicians voted against changing the law after a three-day debate on the matter in 2018.
In the Isle of Man a poll, commissioned by campaigning group Dignity in Dying, found that 87% of islanders supported terminally ill, mentally competent adults being allowed to choose assisted death in their final months, while 75% want a change in the law debated in the next political term.
The House of Keys will sit at 10am today.
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