NRL News

Isle of Man rejects assisted suicide

by | Jan 23, 2020

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Editor’s note. The Isle of Man is located in the Irish Sea between Great Britain and Ireland.

The Isle of Man rejected a motion to consider legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide. After a five-hour debate the House of Keys rejected the call for further investigation into changing the assisted suicide laws.

Dr. Gordon Macdonald, Chief Executive of Care Not Killing, commented in their media release:

“This is a sensible decision that will bring relief to those with terminal and chronic conditions on the Isle of Man and who fear changing the law on assisted suicide and euthanasia.

“Laws such as the Isle of Man’s Criminal Law Act which prohibit assisted suicide and euthanasia are essential to protect vulnerable people. The operation of the Suicide Act and murder legislation in other parts of the British Isles, covering assisted suicide and euthanasia has been reviewed dozens of times by MPs, MSPs, peers, other elected officials, judges even the former Director of Public Prosecution. Every time, they have rejected introducing a law that would discriminate against the terminally ill and disabled people by removing long held universal protections.

“The current laws ensure all people are treated equally and deters vulnerable people at risk of abuse and of coming under pressure, real or perceived to end their lives prematurely, which is what the evidence from around the world shows.”

Dr. Macdonald also commented on the Canadian experience with legalized assisted death:

“If further evidence was needed, then Canada provides this. In 2016, Canada changed their law to allow terminally ill people to request assisted suicide and euthanasia. In just four years the numbers of those dying in this way has gone from just over 1,000 to more than 5,000 per year. Then in September, the Quebec Superior Court struck down the requirement that a person be terminally ill before they qualify for euthanasia in Canada, opening up assisted suicide and euthanasia to those suffering with chronic conditions and mental health problems.

“Indeed in July a depressed, but otherwise healthy 61-year-old man, was euthanised in the province of British Columbia. Alan Nichols, a former school caretaker who lived alone and had struggled with depression, was killed by lethal injection in Chilliwack General Hospital.

Dr. Macdonald concluded:

“No wonder not a single doctors group or major disability rights organisation supports changing the law, including the British Medical Association, the Royal College of General Practitioners, the Royal College of Physicians, the British Geriatric Society and the Association for Palliative Medicine. The current laws prohibiting assisted suicide and euthanasia do not need changing.”

It is terrible that Canada is experiencing the number of deaths and abuse of our laws, but at least others are recognizing our folly and deciding not to follow Canada’s lead.

Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.

Categories: Assisted Suicide