On Air Now Drew Robilliard 6:00pm - Midnight Playing Bad Habits - Ed Sheeran
Now Playing Ed Sheeran Bad Habits

December Debate On Assisted Dying

States members are due to vote this December on whether assisted dying should be allowed in Jersey.

A 'Citizens' Jury' formed to consider the issue is recommending the law be changed to allow it.

The group of 23 members was appointed by the Health Minister last year to represent islanders' opinions on the issue.

They were picked to form a representative sample of Jersey's population - based on age, gender, where they live, how long they have lived here, and any pre-existing opinions they have on assisted dying.

After 10 meetings lasting several hours where expert legal and medical advisors were present to advise, 18 of the 23 panel members agreed that assisted dying should be allowed in Jersey, in cases where an adult is suffering from a terminal illness or experiencing unbearable suffering and wants to end their life.

The Citizens' Jury also called for 'stringent safeguards' to be in place, including a pre-approval process, a mandatory period of reflection and consideration, and for only qualified doctors and nurses to be allowed to offer assistance.

Politicians will still have the final say on whether to allow it when the issue is debated in the States Assembly by the end of the year.

The issue will be debated in the States Assembly before the end of the year

Deputy Gregory Guida, Jersey's Home Affairs Minister, says it is only right that politicians get to vote on the issue - rather than the Council of Ministers deciding:

"This is an incredibly sensitive and complex issue, so it is only right for the States Assembly to have a thorough debate on the question.

"This has always been a decision that should be made by the assembly, not solely by the government.

"This report will help members to appreciate the comprehensive examination into the topic as undertaken by the jury and I thank each member of the jury for valued time on this complex topic."

The late Alain du Chemin spent years campaigning to be allowed to end his own life after being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.

He wrote to politicians in April urging them to 'do the right thing' during the upcoming debate on whether to change the law.

He died less than two weeks later at the age of 50.

The Citizen's Jury also came up with key messages for States Members to consider before they debate the issue in the Assembly.

They include that the issue is about letting people die with dignity and on their terms, it being a personal choice, protecting vulnerable people, and the importance of listening to the jury - who have spent months carefully considering the issue in depth before making its recommendations.

This week the UK's biggest doctors' union, the British Medical Association has said it will neither support nor oppose attempts to change the law to introduce assisted dying there.

Members voted to adopt a 'neutral stance on the issue, with 49% in favour, 48% opposed and 3% abstaining.

More from Jersey News

Channel 103 VIP

Become a Channel 103 VIP!