After an emotional and sensitive debate, the House of Keys today voted to allow Dr Alex Allinson to introduce his Private Member’s Bill that could see the island introduce assisted dying laws.
You can view the debate in full below.
Dr Allinson’s motion read: ‘That leave be given to introduce a Private Member’s Bill to enable adults who are terminally ill to be provided at their request with specified assistance to end their own life; and for connected purposes.’
In opening the debate, he said: ‘This is not an issue that is going to go away, nor a problem that we can continue to seek to ignore. I believe now is the time for a real debate on legislation, and how we can provide real choice for terminally ill, mentally competent adults.
‘As Parliamentarians and legislators, we now have the opportunity to represent the people who placed us here, to ask for their views and wishes for the future. This is the first step in any meaningful change and I ask for your support to step closer to a time when those dying on our island genuinely have choice, respect and can receive any support they require.’
The emotionally charged debate saw most members speak, with Education Minister Julie Edge and Garff MHK Daphne Caine contributions proving particularly powerful.
Many members who spoke said they did so to allow the debate to continue, but warned Dr Allinson that they need to see much more detail and a far reaching consultation before the Bill returns to Keys. Judging by the work to be done, it is unlikely that we will see this return before the autumn, with a consultation likely to be held over the summer.