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Jersey assisted suicide debate delayed

by | Oct 6, 2023

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The Jersey Evening Post reported on October 5, 2023 the announcement by Jersey Health Minister Karen Wilson that the debate on the proposed assisted suicide law will take place during the third quarter of 2024, rather than in February as originally planned.

Jersey is an island country and self-governing Crown Dependency and the largest of the Channel Islands, with a population of around 100,000 people.

Duty of Care Jersey and the Jersey Dying Well Group, represented by retired GP Dr John Stewart-Jones, consultant psychiatrist Dr Rachel Ruddy, and GP Dr Andreas Melchior stated in a press release: 

“The decision is an important and welcome development as it allows more time for politicians, especially the 21 newly elected States Members who played no part in the previous discussions, to properly understand the complexities of introducing assisted suicide and euthanasia into healthcare.

“Since the vote in principle in favour of assisted dying in November 2021, there have been significant amounts of new information of the growing harmful effects of introducing this into law, especially in Canada, which legalised medical assistance in dying by euthanasia and assisted suicide in 2016.

“Since then, there has been a continual erosion of the so-called safeguards that were initially set in place – this is especially relevant to Jersey, as the proposals closely mirror the Canadian “twin-track” approach for terminal and non-terminal illnesses.”

We have always maintained our concern and stance on the topic of a change in law, as when taking such decisions the politicians involved must give due consideration to those most vulnerable in society, to the lowest common denominator, and we don’t believe that this was the case when the ‘in principle’ vote was taken by the last government.”

See also “Doctors in Jersey oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide.”

Alex Schadenberg is scheduled to speak in Jersey in early November 2023.

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

Categories: Assisted Suicide