Friday, November 26, 2021

Jersey (UK) is debating the legalization of euthanasia

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

I reported a few days ago that a group of Jersey physicians told the government that they oppose the legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide. The physicians were informing a euthanasia debate that was scheduled in the Jersey State Assembly. Jersey is a self-governing Crown Dependency and the largest of the channel islands.

BBC news reported that the Jersey State Assembly voted in favour of debating proposals to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide. The BBC article stated that this is the first step in a process that would likely be completed in 2023. The BBC news article stated:

But this historic vote represents the beginning, rather than the end, of a process which might - or might not - eventually see assisted dying legalised in the island.

Detailed work will now begin to determine how assisted dying could be permitted while ensuring vulnerable people remain safe.

At least two more separate votes will be required before the law can be changed.
Deputy Richard Renouf, Minister for Health and Social Services, spoke against the proposals, saying:
"Safeguards can be built up and to the best of our ability, but none of them can be truly effective.

"None of them would truly protect patients who are going to become vulnerable if assisted dying were to be introduced."

This is the beginning, not the end of the debate. It is our hope that Jersey State Assembly members will listen to the voice of Dr Carol Davis, consultant in palliative medicine who said:

"Legalising assisted suicide and euthanasia is a seismic legal, ethical and moral change and it carries serious risks to society and particularly its most vulnerable members."
More information on this topic:

  • Doctors in Jersey oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide (Link).

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