The consultation into a proposal to introduce assisted dying legislation in the Isle of Man has now ended.

Click here to read about it.

The topic has filled the letters pages in the Isle of Man Examiner and the Manx Independent in the last few weeks.

We reproduce a number of the letters here:


Well done to some of the doctors on the Isle of Man for speaking out to say that they are not willing participants in assisting in suicides or euthanasia, on behalf of the state. (Manx Independent January 5-11).

There is an expectation that doctors will carry out this work, but they won’t get to vote on whether the existing law on assisted suicide is reversed. That is the job of the MHKs.

Doctors study ethics as part of their training and will have thought through these issues among many other issues in the delivery of health care for the public.

They also know their patients and are experienced in end of life care.

What of MHKs? It would be nice to know that they are giving as much thought to this vital issue. Have we heard anything from them?

It would also be good to see the Manx media doing some robust investigative journalism of their own: on the consultation document that we are being offered and how legalising assisted suicide is playing out in the jurisdictions where it has been adopted.

SJ Watterson


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Dr Alex Allinson MHK will ask Tynwald to support a law change that allows ‘voluntary assisted dying’ (assisted suicide to you and me).

He calls for ‘an open debate’ to ‘flesh out’, political opinions. But, presumably, not the opinions of those who are most likely to be ‘fleshed out”.

The elderly. The vulnerable. The weak. The disabled. The mental ill. The unfit. The wretched of our island.

Happily— to save all of we island ‘undesirables’ from our ‘fleshed out’ final destination envisaged by Dr Allinson— our Isle of Man Freethinkers say any open debate should be ‘based on science and compassion’.

Are you any good at ‘free thinking’? I’m hopeless.

Free thinking reminds me a bit of those who are good at ‘general knowledge’.

Those who have a bit of an idea about a lot of things. And no idea about anything in particular. Free thinking seems to me a bit like that. You can think a bit about a lot of things. But can’t think about anything in particular.

Anyway, fair play to our ‘Free thinkers’.

My goodness what a fine up-standing cultured, civilised bunch of compassionate individuals. What a perfectly orchestrated response ‘based on science and compassion’. I can almost hear Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’ in the background.

Sadly, though, science doesn’t do ‘compassion’. It does science. Think of all that scientific ‘compassion’ in an exploding atomic bomb. Or in eugenics.

Eugenics; once comprehensively and enthusiastically practised on the elderly, the vulnerable, the weak, the disabled, the mentally ill, the ‘unfit’; the wretched of our earth. And by an all-too-willing medical profession of Beethoven’s, compassionate, cultured and civilised Europe.

Dr Allinson MHK says that there’s been a ‘change in public opinion’… and the time was right to consider ‘the idea that people should be allowed to be given the right to control their own destiny’.

No evidence is forthcoming from Dr Allinson on this, alleged, ‘change in public opinion’.

And his grandiose euphemism for ‘assisted suicide’ ‘… people should be given the right to control their own destiny’ is little short of subterfuge and leaves a sour taste in the mouth.

In plain English, what Dr Allinson is talking about here is ‘personal choice’.

As is Baroness O’Neill, the eminent Cambridge philosopher when she says: ‘I do not believe, that it is possible to draft adequate safeguards without invoking misleading and unrealistic fantasies about individual autonomy (individual choice to you and me) ... whatever one thinks about the legitimacy of assisted suicide, it’s not legislatable: not safely legislatable... It is a right that should remain a crime, because only by its remaining a crime does is remain possible to investigate it.’

No doubt Dr Allinson will argue that strict safeguards will be put in place to protect the elderly. The vulnerable. The weak. The disabled. The mental ill. The unfit. Our very own island undesirables.

Yet, Baroness Finlay, professor of palliative care at the University of Cardiff, was once a GP. She tells of a family who expressed deep concern for an elderly relative. They asked for a powerful analgesic to ease her pain.

The grandmother celebrated her birthday, the following year. But the family didn’t. The grandmother’s birthday was the date when her term life insurance policy lapsed.

Dr Allinson says that ‘assisted suicide’ should be an expression of patient autonomy – personal choice to you and me. This insistence, by Dr Allinson, of ‘patient autonomy’ is a red herring. An obstruction to clear thinking.

Everyone knows someone who’s suffering is such that we think anything must be better.

But legislation has to be made to be safe for all of us. And not just those whose suffering we think of as anything must be better. Otherwise we needlessly risk the lives of others.

What’s needed for patients who so suffer, is palliative care. This lends dignity to them, to us all, and reduces the risk to the lives of others.

Former President of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) Iona Health asks: ‘How autonomously can the weakest people act when the world around them may deem their ill, dependent, and pained life unworthy?’

Heath and Ole Hartling the Danish ethicist warn that attempting to legalise ‘assisted suicide’ creates the notion in society that the life of someone with a terminal illness is without worth.

And, as Baroness O’Neill said at a symposium on the ethics of ‘assisted suicide’ at the Royal Society of Medicine in London: ‘How can we tell which requests for help to commit suicide express robust individual autonomy and which do not?

‘How can we tell which choices express compliance with the (spoken) or unspoken) desires of burdened carers and relatives, or of expectant heirs, whose compassion may be limited?’

Couldn’t happen in the Isle of Man?

Yes it could. If we listen to Dr Allinson.

If we listen to the snowflake millennials. If we listen to our island’s social media lefty bien pensants...

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I have written to our politicians expressing my concern about the consequences of the Assisted Dying Bill upon our National Health Service and am not reassured by the promises of ‘checks and balances’ to make sure everything will be alright.

The argument put forward by the proponents of the bill seem to be predominantly concerned with the individual’s right to decide their own destiny but as far as I have understood no impact studies have been carried out into the effects the bill will have upon our healthcare system and the impact on the wider population.

We read that those who seek assisted dying will have access to two doctors to ensure that they meet the criteria and understand what it will entail.

We are further assured that if there is uncertainty that they may be referred to a psychologist.

Many residents on the island are waiting weeks to see a one doctor, never mind two, and others whose family members are waiting months to be referred to a psychologist, must be amazed to hear this.

Where, they must wonder, are these extra doctors and psychologists coming from and why has Manx Care not been able to find them before given the shortage of people with such skills?

We are advised that the drugs needed for assisted dying to take place would be dispensed and delivered by secure means.

Yet our local pharmacies are struggling to recruit enough pharmacists and staff to deal with current demands.

Some pharmacies have been forced to close their branches for part of the day while staff shuffle round the island.

Dispensing the large numbers of tablets required to take a human life will require careful and time consuming work in our overstretched pharmacies.

Our heath service was established on the principle that National Insurance contributions would be used for providing treatment for sick and injured people. The Assisted Dying Bill departs from this founding principle. It makes no mention of who will pay, but the assumption is that it will be funded by National Insurance contributions.

If passed, it is highly probable that large numbers of very ill people would move to the island to take up residence in rented accommodation, which is in short supply or to purchase their own accommodation, which will drive up the cost of housing stock, which many of our young people are already finding unaffordable and may cause them to leave the island to move elsewhere.

How many will come? How much will the scheme cost?

How much extra will be added to the health service budget to pay for it? How many extra staff will need to be employed and where will they come from?

These questions should be revealed long before we are asked to respond to the consultation.

The Assisted Dying Bill will have effects for all of us, our children and grandchildren.

I hope many people will think through the matter through and realise it is so much more than a matter of individual choice and that it will affect the future of the health and welfare of everyone.

Ian Price


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I have been visiting the island for over 60 years and arrived last weekend again to discover that the consultation on assisted dying was in its final stages.

I wonder if I may share my personal experience as a contribution to the debate?

In doing so I have no wish to appear dismissive of the view of others who maybe find themselves in times of similarly deep distress and pain.

Three years ago I was in South Africa for the charity with which I was working.

Together with two friends and colleagues, my wife and I were being driven in a small truck back to the airport in Port Elizabeth.

Without going into the causes, the truck plunged off a bridge and after somersaulting end over end finished upside down in the estuary below.

My wife and my friends were killed instantly, but against all odds the driver and I survived. I was severely injured and once in hospital was placed in a coma for a week.

I woke to find my four adult children around my bed but was unable to move or speak.

They broke the news to me of my wife’s death and then had to bear with both my extreme mental and physical distress and with a succession of pleas on my part to end my life.

I was communicating at first by picking out letters with a raised finger as they went through the alphabet, but even after I could speak was begging them to let me die.

Over the months that followed I felt the same about life with a lot of physical pain and without my wife.

Their response, and that of the doctors, proved to be something I could understand, at a time when nuanced arguments about my right to end my suffering would have been impossible to manage.

Everyone told me simply that the work of doctors was to heal and however much I wished my life to end, there was nothing to be done.

That reply also gave me confidence that no life-shortening treatments would have been considered to deal with the acute problems of my recovery.

Furthermore, over the months that followed when I was necessarily extremely distressed at all the trouble I was giving to so many people close to my wretched state, we knew that all of us had no option but to carry on.

However well-meaning the arguments are to enable people to take their lives, I believe crossing the line that denies agency to both doctors and the vulnerable such as I was, would be catastrophic and full of unforeseen and most unfortunate consequences.

I understand that in several other jurisdictions, such as Canada, where patient choice is becoming the key rule in this matter, I may well have been killed. I am now so grateful that did not happen.

Peter Harris


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I am writing after reading the recently distributed leaflet around assisted suicide.

This raised some excellent points regarding safeguarding of vulnerable individuals.

I am particularly concerned around the safeguarding of individuals who have lost their ability to talk.

We often rely on the verbal response to make choices.

What safeguarding and training for assessing a person’s capacity will be in place to ensure an appropriate assessment is completed for those who cannot verbalise their wishes.

Currently the island has no Mental Capacity Act (although we are close to achieving this).

After its introduction (this doesn’t just get introduced) there will be a large amount of training to be completed to ensure all health professionals are following the legal requirements of the law.

Alternative forms of communication or knowledge of assessment of a person’s wishes and capacity using alternative means can require specialist input from a speech and language therapist.

Will this be available and will this be considered to ensure individuals are not being pressured into making this decision?

This is not a simple yes/no closed question answer through a nod of a head.

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I write in response to the front page story on the Manx Independent published on Thursday, January 5.

The three doctors quoted say they have not spoken to any doctor in support of legal assisted dying.

However, the organisation I belong to, My Death My Decision, has a Clinical Advisory Group, who advise on clinical matters and represent medics who do support assisted dying reform.

There is another group “Health Professionals for Assisted Dying”, also based in the UK, with several island members.

The doctors are attempting to convince your readers that there is a slippery slope and that, over time, safeguards will be weakened and vulnerable groups will be at risk.

However, there is no evidence to support this. In fact, many stringent safeguards will be written into the legislation.

These include specifying a minimum age, mental capacity, the consistency of expressed wishes and the independence of the medical experts involved.

These are all planned for the Isle of Man legislation, and any changes to them would have to be approved by Tynwald.

I know that the palliative care on offer here on the island is excellent, but there is no denying that in some cases it does not stop the suffering for every patient, and there are many people who work in palliative care who support the option of assisted dying as a way to offer choice and dignity at the end of life.

The issue of patients having to take 385 tablets within five minutes is completely misleading.

These days, a liquid can be given either orally or via intravenous drip, with no discomfort to the patient.

I urge everyone to send in their responses to the current Consultation on Assisted Dying. Our voices need to be heard.

Vicky Christian

Local Group Organiser

My Death My Decision


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The introduction of legalising assisted dying has many concerns but I feel that unless you personally are experiencing an illness where there is no cure , it will only get worse and you’re just surviving each day, then there are many reasons to legalise this Bill.

I nursed my husband at home for over nine months last year.

He was a very confident and intelligent man. A retired managing director of his own company.

He loved humour and telling jokes and on occasion went on the Sunday show with the late David Callister.

His first goal in life was to always look after myself and his family.

His illness struck and ended very suddenly.

Within months he was unable to walk, talk or eat properly and relied on myself to deal with all his day to day requirements. He was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.

My husband literally had no life and no expectations that it would get any better – he WANTED to be out of his misery.

He said on one occasion that it broke his heart to see me working so hard, but I wouldn’t have done things any other way. We had been together for 46 years, for better or worse.

There was no way out of this nightmare for him and when he passed after being admitted to hospital with pneumonia it was a relief for him, myself and our family.

Dr Harris writes that there is a quote in healthcare which says, in a patient who is suffering, it’s more elegant to remove the suffering than to remove the patient.

Well, this may be the case for those not experiencing the suffering and even if the patient is made comfortable and experiencing no pain how you do treat the pain and suffering mentally?

This bill, with all the correct procedures in place, could be introduced in a short time, if not for everyone at the present time, but for those like my husband who had no hope of recovery and no enjoyment of life just endless days of misery.

I would like to thank everyone for all their help , kindness and support in the various departments of the health service, The Manx Motor Neurone Disease Society , friends , transport companies and anyone else who made our lives easier during Paul’s illness.

Maureen Michaels

Kirk Michael

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I have just had a leaflet delivered through my letterbox entitled Assisted Dying Safeguarding vulnerable people in the face of harm.

It is worth reading as an example of the kind of highly emotive material with which we are presented nowadays posing as reasoned argument. I counted eight classic fallacies in its six pages.

What is sought by those campaigning for a change in the law is not a wholesale rejection of the existing law but rather its narrowly circumscribed modification.

Their case is quite simply that, subject to certain precisely specified conditions and safeguards, terminally-ill patients, in the last six months of their expected lives, should be able to request a doctor’s assistance to accelerate their death. Giving people the choice of how they wish to end their lives is what this matter is about.

Doug Clark



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Thank you for giving front page prominence to the views on legal euthanasia expressed by Dr Fiona Baker and Dr Ben Harris ‘Doctors Say No to Legal Euthanasia’.

I agree wholeheartedly with their views, especially Dr Harris’s comment ‘.... by providing that choice to die for the individual the dynamic is that it then becomes almost an enforced obligation, as people are frightened of becoming a burden on their families and friends’.

If this Bill was passed it would change the dynamic from preserving life with dignity to finding ways and means to end it.

A subtle tilt in the balance perhaps, but one that could open the floodgates to goodness knows what.

If an individual wishes to go down the route of assisted dying for themselves, and I respect this view, then there are avenues available – but not on this island.

My other worry is that the Bill is being presented by doctor who is also an MHK.

In my view, this gives the said Bill an unfair advantage.

As we all know, medical practitioners are generally held in very high esteem.

Who among us would actually argue with our GP over a suggested treatment?

It gives the Bill a weight that it might not carry if presented by a non-medical person.

I believe this whole concept is of sufficient importance to be the subject of a public referendum – before it goes too far.

As for the government’s online consultation, I would say that the way the questions are framed that this, too, is heavily weighted in favour of the Bill. What do others think?

I do not belong to any religious group- I simply believe in the sanctity of human life.

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I wrote in last month concerning the apparent alarming ignorance surrounding the wider implications of Dr Allinson’s, ‘assisted dying,’ bill and was delighted to see the same subject headlining last week’s Independent.

It underlines the worrying trait of our government to showcase sketchy information in a bid to railroad measures that clearly require more of an open and considered approach.

My previous observations were stimulated by a chance listening to Manx Radio’s Mannin Line in time to catch regular caller, Julian, expertly peeling away the ‘layers of the onion’, to expose the unravelled truth.

Since then, I must confess, to being a more frequent listener and have particularly enjoyed the Question Time aspect that tends to spontaneously develop when there are influential civil servants or political heavyweights guesting on the show.

There comes no bigger titan of this arena than the Chief Minister, who admirably submitted himself to the probing of Andy Wint and the rigours of the open telephone line.

Political sparring aside, the programme on December 16 further highlighted the almost, slave like adherence, to, so-called, international opinion. I say, ‘so-called’ because, as we know, reported opinion, at the best of times, is hard to quantify or qualify and is always subject to the legitimacy of source.

During the programme, our attention was drawn to the fact that several ministers, including the Chief Minister, had attended a virtual presentation hosted by the Manx National Farmers’ Union featuring climate computer modeller, Professor Myles Allen from the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). The caller then continued by emphasising the professor’s strong links with the WEF (World Economic Forum) and his role in directly influencing the decision to apparently close over 3,000 of, arguably, Europe’s most productive food producing farms in the Netherlands.

As I understand it, the WEF, is a vastly influential global player and staunch advocate of centralised government with worryingly close links to the WHO (World Health Organisation).

They unashamedly promote the involvement of corporate and stakeholder interest as positive drivers in their pursuit of political unification. To surrender national control to the likes of these in the guise of ‘the greater good’ is essentially equivalent to stock market, insider dealing, as vested interest is given access to political power.

If the recent exposure of public interest in Dr Allinson’s legalised euthanasia is anything to go by, then surely, we, the voting public, should take a keen interest in who our government chooses to ‘get into bed with’ and where the ramifications of such a union might lead.

Collusion or complacency, we owe it to ourselves to keep our ruling elite, ‘against the ropes,’ and accountable at all times. Such regular integrity checks, not only provide reassurance to us, the people, but also set a performance benchmark for the noble aspirations of any transparent government.

Insufficient research and ignorance are no excuse for political mistakes made at this level.

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I was interested in the two letters about assisted dying in the Manx Independent dated December 22, 2022.

The two writers were strongly opposed to assisted death.

Surely there are two things a person would only consider as a last resort. One is suicide, the other abortion.

The person who wrote ‘Less expensive than healthcare’ mentioned both these subjects.

Ideally there would be no need for suicide or abortion.

Unfortunately, we are not living in an ideal world.

Those who consider suicide don’t want to die. People contemplate suicide when they think ‘I don’t want to die but I don’t want to live like this either’.

When a dog reaches a certain age we say it’s kinder to put it to sleep.

I hear it is the same with a horse but you can’t do that with a human being even if this person wishes to be put out of their misery.

At least that was the case for many years.

These days a terminally-ill person who considers going to Dignitas in Switzerland but it is officially illegal in this country isn’t it?

Christians regard all life as precious but isn’t it all part of their faith that life on earth is a vale of tears?

Don’t they who say ‘in the midst of life we are in death’?

Ian Ellis

Richmond Grove


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I am so glad Dr Allinson has opened the conversation about assisted dying.

If people think having a choice is inhumane then what is having no choice?

I want that choice if the situation arises and one of the reasons is I don’t want to be a burden on my family (I find the idea of a terminal illness distressing , the pain, sadness for my family, and the daily routine of slowly dying, doctor appointments, people looking after me, pain relief medication and all that goes with it).

If I was told I had an illness and there was no cure and I would end up bedridden, in pain not able to blow my own nose you bet I want out of there.

We will all die that’s a certainty but how hard would it be to lie in a bed day after day in pain knowing you time is up and what about your partner, children, loved ones they have to see this painful, sad, sorry version of me every day until I finally breathe my last breath.

Give me one reason why that is a good way to go and why I cannot have a choice?

The life of someone with a terminal illness is worthy but it can also be painful, sad, lonely and really difficult.

If you don’t want that choice you don’t have to have it but you have to know there are some people that want that choice .

J Carroll 


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I am writing in response to the Indy article about the doctors who are against assisted dying.

I must say that their arguments were feeble and rather naïve for people whose work centres around end of life care.

Their comments seem to show very little understanding of the proposed assisted dying procedure.

Point 1:

Dr Baker says ‘I haven’t met another doctor who is ’[in support of assisted dying].

This is meaningless hearsay as we have no idea how many doctors she has actually spoken to about this matter or exactly what they said.

Point 2:

Ben Harris says ‘the dynamic is that it becomes almost an enforced obligation as people are frightened of becoming a burden’.

People will not be able to just rock up to their GP and ask to be put down.

It will not be able to become an ‘enforced obligation’ unless doctors and counsellors become corrupt and use it for their own financial gain.

This statement also totally ignores the other side of the coin. I think the rosy view is that all the elderly will be happily sitting watching TV, reading or chatting with relatives or at least awake and pain free.

The reality is that if you visit nursing care homes, and I have been in several, then you will see sights which would not look out of place in a horror movie.

Comatose, often skeletal or broken, bodies are bedbound or sprawled in a chair, totally unaware of their surroundings or anything else.

They are unable to engage with anything and there’s absolutely no prospect of recovery or further quality of life not to mention the physical and mental pain involved.

Care staff do their best and some patients might choose to let nature take its course but I don’t want to end my life like that, especially while my assets are being drained at £1000+ per week to keep me as a living corpse.

I would rather be dead and I am sure many other older people feel the same.

I feel so strongly about this that, should I have any signs that this might be my fate, I am prepared to take my own life while I am still able enough.

This would probably mean doing it sooner than if assisted dying were an option and it would also mean some poor soul finding my deceased body.

Point 3 :

The six months to live diagnosis.

I actually agree with them on this but for different reasons.

I think it’s far too prescriptive and I would guess that a definite diagnosis like this is rare in the great scheme of things so it discriminates against most of the population.

I think assisted dying should be a possible option for everyone but, requests to use the service should be addressed on an individual basis.

It’s possible that the counselling aspect of this service might actually save lives as it will bring to the fore some people who feel suicidal but who can actually receive help and encouragement to live. Just because someone requests assisted dying doesn’t mean they will be accepted or encouraged to do it and they will be allowed to change their mind.

Point 4:

Other jurisdictions who offer assisted dying have gone rogue.

I have my doubts about this and statements like this need statistical and proven data to back it up.

This also doesn’t mean we will automatically follow suit, the way we oversee it is down to us. Dr Harris adds to this that ‘suffering is very subjective and it’s certainly not inevitable.’

Erm yes, very true which is why nobody will be forced into assisted dying.

Point 5:

I would like to see proven data to back up the statement that ‘deaths caused by assisted dying are often quite traumatic’.

From what I have read and seen about Dignitas, dying with them is a whole lot less traumatic than being forced to endure MND or agonising final stage cancer symptoms and is actually a peaceful experience.

The suggestion that patients might be required to guzzle 385 tablets in five minutes MUST be a joke and I shall treat it with the contempt it deserves.

Point 6:

Dr Harris says ‘So if somebody’s coming to you with a problem, you deal with them in a way you know as opposed to a way you don’t know’.

Really? That’s very worrying as it suggests a blinkered approach to further education and training to update medical knowledge.

Point 7:

It will put off doctors wishing to work on the island.

I don’t understand how it would as I am not sure what would be expected of them but I am sure they will have a voice.

I did not find any of these points convincing, articulate or well considered and I was actually surprised at how ill informed they seemed to be, unless they thought it was good enough to impress the plebeians.

I do think that there’s a danger of healthcare professionals overstepping their remit and dictating to, rather than advising their patients.

‘Doing no harm’ could include not forcing people to suffer beyond their endurance because that is harmful to them AND their relatives.

Assisted dying is about informed CHOICE over our own destiny.

Today the island’s households received a shiny leaflet, from something called Manx Duty of Care, containing scaremongering anti assisted dying propaganda. I sincerely hope that public money meant for healthcare did not fund this bid to frighten people into submission.

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Neither assisted dying nor assisted suicide is manslaughter, they are both murder.

Because manslaughter implies that a person did not intend to kill someone, but by their action that person died.

Whereas if a person premeditatedly intends, and knows what they are doing will end another person’s life, that is murder.

For a start, that puts any doctor involved in an invidious position because he or she, after completing their training has sworn an oath that they will make all attempts to save life.

Now though you are asking them or inviting them to deliberately end life.

If I were a professional medical person, the very fact that I had sworn such an oath would prevent me from participating in any form of ending another person’s life.

The general argument for assisted dying or suicide is: ‘Oh well there is no hope of that person’s health improving, they will only get worse, and die eventually.’

Really? That is a very presumptuous statement.

Can we be absolutely, 100% certain that that will be the case?

Miracles can, and often do happen, especially with the considerable advances now being made in modern medicine and health care.

Also the personal experience of losing my brother to leukaemia, while we were both teenagers, has shown me that God may have a purpose for keeping a person alive for longer, than man would have expected.

He was expected to die in November 1962, but due to a miraculous recovery, he rallied and lived until May 1963, by which time he had been able to participate in a very important family event.

This clearly showed me that it is not for man to determine when a person should die, but should be left entirely to God.

At the moment, it is an accepted fact that the British Isles are world leaders in end-of-life care.

Indeed it was in Britain that the hospice movement began, and right here on the Isle of Man we have one of the finest.

The experience of other nations has shown, that once euthanasia is legalised, it opens the door for killing for convenience.

As was the case of an elderly lady in Holland who was euthanised against her will.

Finally, there is a constitutional matter to be seriously considered.

In approximately AD 800, King Alfred the Great at Winchester, Hampshire, England, proclaimed that all the Israelite laws of Moses, should become the laws of England.

This includes all the Ten Commandments of which No 6 states ;Thou Shalt Do No Murder; (or Thou Shalt Not Kill, depending on which translation one reads).

Over succeeding centuries these laws were extended to the United Kingdom and the Crown Dependencies, of which the Isle of Man is one.

Therefore when an MHK takes the oath of office, he or she is professing loyalty to the Lord of Mann, currently King Charles III.

He has already taken a provisional oath, but when he takes his coronation oath, he will swear on the Bible to uphold to the uttermost, ALL the laws of the realm.

This includes ‘Thou Shalt Do No Murder’.

Therefore, if Tynwald votes in favour of the Bill for assisted dying, it will be pressurising him to break his coronation oath.

He will thus have a choice, either to break his solemn oath or, to refuse to give Royal Assent to the Bill.

Either choice would most likely cause a constitutional crisis, particularly as the United Kingdom has not passed any bill permitting euthanasia.

Donald G.M. Whittaker



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The consultation in ‘assisted dying’ – more accurately called ‘assisted suicide’ – is fundamentally flawed.

The reason is that all Bills require Royal Assent.

However, the King is bound by the Coronation Oath Act 1688, which formed part of his declaration to the accession.

By section 3, he has to swear to the utmost of his power to maintain the laws of God and the true profession of the gospel.

Therefore, how can he give his assent to a Bill that incontrovertibly breaks God’s law?

To refuse Royal Assent would create a constitutional crisis for the monarchy.

The obvious answer then, is for this Bill to be dropped.

After all, the Members of Tynwald swear an oath of allegiance to His Majesty, which surely obliges them to assist him uphold his oath, which, by law he is required to make.

Peter Murcott

Selborne Drive



I’d like to thank Peter Murcott (Opinions, Isle of Man Examiner, January 24) for his insightful criticism of the monarchy and its ludicrous and outdated trappings.

He makes a compelling case for republicanism.

When the Archbishop of Canterbury puts on his best frock and his weird pointy headgear and then plonks a metal hat on Charlie’s bonce during the coronation, lots of weird nonsense will ensue.

As Mr Murcott points out, the king will have to make an oath dictated by Coronation Oath Act of 1688, which was a consequence of the Glorious Revolution.

It came in before the Germans took the English throne when George I (House of Hanover) became king in 1714 and therefore before Charles’ immediate forebears were monarchs.

It was enacted when wives were little more than possessions, when slavery was vital to the British empire and when witchcraft was believed in and punishable by death.

Thank goodness most laws enacted so long ago have been done away with.

Mr Murcott says that the act will force the king to do things or agree to things to which even he might object.

Then politicians would have to do the same, often against their better judgement, if Mr Murcott’s interpretation of the law is right.

Mr Murcott highlights brilliantly the poison of the power of hereditary privilege and its disgraceful distortion of democracy.

I hope such a learned and erudite man can lead a campaign for republicanism in the Isle of Man.

H Cook


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