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Jersey convenes ‘citizens’ jury’ on assisted dying

Jersey Health Minister Deputy Richard Renouf has announced that the States of Jersey will convene a ‘citizens’ jury’ on assisted dying, to consider the issue in more detail and make independent recommendations for reform. Channel Islands Humanists has welcomed the announcement, which is a first for the UK and crown dependencies.

The proposal is for 12-24 citizens to meet over the spring/summer to consider the issues in detail, report later in the year, and the final recommendations be debated by the Jersey Assembly at the end of 2020. In the announcement, Deputy Renouf said:

‘I and other Ministers recognise that there are legitimate calls for our Assembly to consider the issue of assisted dying; but we also recognise that simply rehearsing the debates of our near neighbours is not satisfactory. We need to learn from their experiences and take a different approach to the assisted dying debate; we need to ensure that our Assembly, and other key stakeholders, have an in-depth understanding of our community’s response to the medical, ethical, legal and regulatory issues associated with assisted dying before we launch into debate.’

Welcoming the announcement, Channel Islands Humanists Chair Dave Crocker commented:

‘We’re delighted that the Jersey Ministers have committed to a citizens’ jury on assisted dying. It is vital that the law is changed to allow those who are of sound mind but are terminally ill or incurably suffering to have the right to end their lives in a time and manner of their choosing. Only such a change in the law would allow people the choice, dignity, and autonomy they deserve in their end of life choices. We know this is what most Jersey citizens want, so we hope the citizens’ jury will agree.’

Notes:

For further comment or information, please contact Humanists UK Press Manager Casey-Ann Seaniger at casey@humanists.uk or phone 020 7324 3078 or 07393 344293.

Read more about our work on assisted dying. 

Channel Islands Humanists is a part of Humanists UK. Humanists UK is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people. Powered by over 85,000 members and supporters, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. We provide ceremonies, pastoral care, education, and support services benefitting over a million people every year and our campaigns advance humanist thinking on ethical issues, human rights, and equal treatment for all.

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