Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Isle of Man amends euthanasia bill to require self-administration.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition opposes both euthanasia and assisted suicide because both are methods of killing people. Euthanasia requires the doctor, or some other person, to administer the lethal poison, while assisted suicide requires the person to self-administer the lethal poison that has been prescribed by a doctor or other person.

Whether the person self-administers or the doctor, or some other person administers the lethal person, both acts require the direct involvement of another person to carry out the death.

Nonetheless, the latest Isle of Man euthanasia debate led to an amendment to the proposal to remove the option of euthanasia, while leaving assisted suicide within the law. Ashlea Tracey reported for BBC that:
Terminally ill residents would have to self administer an approved substance to end their lives under proposed new assisted-dying laws on the Isle of Man.

Politicians discussed aspects of the legislation including how medicines would be prescribed, delivered and administered at the latest sitting of the House of Keys.

The original wording of the Assisted Dying Bill 2023, a private members bill brought forward by Alex Allinson MHK, included the option of requesting the help of a doctor.

However, members backed amendments by Julie Edge MHK and Julie Edge MHK to remove that choice from the proposed new laws.

Ms Corlett argued the "last action should be taken by the person" who wanted to end their own life.

In response, Dr Allinson said while a "large number" of responses to a public consultation agreed physicians should be able to administer the substance but he conceded "there had been clear evidence given to us that perhaps this was a line too far".
Allinson's goal is to legalize euthanasia or assisted suicide. Allinson knows that it is harder to legalize assisted dying than to expand the law once it is legal.

For instance, Canada's legalized euthanasia and assisted suicide in 2016. The original law included a "terminal illness" requirement in the law. Canada expanded their law in 2021 by removing the "terminal illness" requirement, removing the 10-day waiting period for terminally ill people (allowing a same-day death), removing the requirement that the person be competent when the lethal poison is administered and permitting euthanasia for mental illness alone.

In the US, 10 States have legalized assisted suicide and nearly all of those states have expanded their assisted suicide laws since legalization.

People who oppose euthanasia must never "cut a deal" to support a bill that permits poisoning people by assisted suicide, but not euthanasia. Once the bill is legalized, within a few years, the kill bill will be expanded.

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition opposes the poisoning of people to death by doctors administering euthanasia or doctors prescribing assisted suicide.

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