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Success! Jersey Ministers move forward with right to die law

Channel Islands Humanists and Humanists UK have welcomed the news that Jersey’s Council of Ministers have brought forward proposals for assisted dying. The proposals are to change the law for adult islanders with terminal or incurable conditions who have a clear and settled wish to end their lives.

Humanists UK has hailed this as a landmark moment in the story of assisted dying in the UK and Crown dependencies – as Jersey would mark the first such jurisdiction to legislate in this way.

The proposal to change the law has been brought forward by the Council of Ministers (Jersey Government) as a whole, and reflects the policy recommendations made by Jersey’s Citizens’ Jury on the subject. It reported on this issue following an extensive inquiry earlier in the year. Its final report echoed proposals made to it by Humanists UK and Channel Islands Humanists in oral evidence sessions.

As many as 9 in 10 people in Jersey support the proposed new law, matching levels of support for assisted dying in Britain. Assisted dying is already available for people with both terminal and incurable conditions in countries like Canada, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands. These laws all have strong safeguards which protect the vulnerable.

The proposals are expected to be voted on by the Jersey Assembly in December at the earliest.

 Channel Islands Humanists’ Dave Crocker commented:

‘Jersey looks set to take an historic step towards recognising that every human being should have the right to a good death, respecting the autonomy and dignity of those with incurable or terminal suffering. This is a big step forward and we will be supporting the proposals as they progress.’

Humanists UK Director of Public Affairs and Policy Richy Thomson added:

‘As the Westminster Parliament gears up to consider Baroness Meacher’s Assisted Dying Bill next week, I hope that politicians across the UK and the other crown dependencies will take notice of Jersey’s example and pledge their support for the sort of compassionate law that the public overwhelmingly wants to see.’

Notes:

For further comment or information, please contact Humanists UK Director of Public Affairs and Policy Richy Thompson at press@humanists.uk or phone 020 7324 3072 or 07534 248 596.

Humanists UK and Channel Islands Humanists gave written and oral evidence to the Citizens’ Jury, whose recommendations dictated what Ministers have proposed to the Assembly today.

Read the proposals.

Read the Citizen’s Jury’s final report.

Read our previous comment on the Jury’s work.

Read more about our campaign to legalise assisted dying.

Read more about Channel Island Humanists.

Channel Islands Humanists is a part of Humanists UK. 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.

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