The States Assembly in Jersey has launched a public consultation on assisted dying. Islanders are invited to share their views on the detailed plans for a change to the law to permit it. Channel Islands Humanists has welcomed the news, and will be encouraging its members and supporters to respond.
Assembly members voted to approve assisted dying ‘in principle’ in November 2021 following a Citizens’ Jury. Channel Islands Humanists gave oral evidence to the Jury. The change in the law would allow a person who is terminally ill or intolerably suffering from an incurable illness to have an assisted death on their terms. In this consultation, islanders are asked their views on the proposed eligibility criteria, the role of doctors and the health service, processes, and regulations.
The consultation process will be accompanied by a series of public engagement meetings:
|Saturday 22 October||10am to 12pm||Town library|
|Wednesday 26 October||12pm to 2pm||Town library|
|Wednesday 2 November||12pm to 2pm||Communicare, St Brelade|
|Thursday 10 November||6pm to 8pm||Town library|
|Wednesday 23 November||10am to 12pm||St Clement Parish Hall|
The consultation will be open until 14 January 2023.
The consultation was initially meant to begin in September, with a vote in October, but this was delayed due to the Queen’s death. The revised timetable for the implementation of assisted dying in Jersey will be:
- Public consultation: 17 October – 14 January
- States Assembly debate on policy proposals: March 2023
- Law drafting (minimum 12 months): March 2023 to March 2024
- States Assembly debate on draft law: Late spring / early summer 2024
- Implementation period: Early summer 2024 – to end 2025
- Legislation comes into effect: By end of 2025
The 18-month implementation period will be used to train health professionals, develop a public information campaign and establish a system of regulation.
Humanists UK Assisted Dying Campaigner Nathan Stilwell said:
‘It refreshing to see Jersey engage so positively with members of the public on the issue of assisted dying. It proves that the public is able to tackle complex issues and help inform debates. We hope that the rest of the UK and Crown dependencies will follow Jersey’s example on this matter.’
‘Jersey, Scotland, and the Isle of Man are all actively progressing on legislating for assisted dying. Everyone should be able to make informed decisions about the end of their lives and politicians should take a compassionate, common-sense approach to this issue.’
Channel Islands Humanists supports assisted dying for those of sound mind who are terminally ill or incurably suffering, and have a clear and settled wish to die.
For further comment or information, media should 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.
Read more about our campaign to legalise assisted dying in the UK.
Channel Islands Humanists is a part of Humanists UK, 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.