Humanists UK’s evidence centred around the importance of respecting human beings’ personal autonomy, and recognising the need to cover both those with terminal and those with incurable illnesses in any legislation. Humanists UK’s Chief Executive Andrew Copson, in his evidence, commented ‘autonomy is a fundamental human right, and Jersey’s citizens deserve the same rights as currently enjoyed by more than 350 million people around the world.’
Humanists UK is a member of the Assisted Dying Coalition (ADC). According to a survey by fellow ADC members End of Life Choices Jersey, 87% of islanders and a majority of doctors support legal assisted dying for both the terminally ill and incurably suffering.
The submission to Jersey’s jury on assisted dying come after the renowned neurosurgeon and patron of Humanists UK, Dr Henry Marsh, announced his advanced cancer prognosis. He has supported a call, backed by more than 50 MPs and peers, for the UK Government to hold an inquiry into assisted dying.
Commenting on Humanists UK’s evidence to Jersey’s jury, Channel Islands Humanists Chair Dave Crocker said:
‘In a fair, kind, and compassionate society, nobody should be forced to suffer in great pain or die without dignity. Nor should anyone be denied the choice to control their own death, simply because they lack the financial means of travelling to Switzerland.
‘The evidence favouring assisted dying is now overwhelming, and this is reflected in the fact that progressive countries continue to overturn bans on assisted dying at a rapid pace. With nearly nine in ten islanders clamouring for a change in the law, we urge panellists to heed the compelling case for assisted dying and support a legal, safe, and compassionate change in the law.’
For further comment or information, please contact Humanists UK Director of Public Affairs and Policy Richy Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 020 7324 3072 or 07534 248 596.
Humanists UK is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people. Powered by 100,000 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.