Politicians on the Isle of Man will debate whether to allow terminally ill people to end their own lives at a sitting of the Tynwald later this month.
Alex Allinson MHK has put down a motion calling for support for law change to allow “voluntary assisted dying”. This is ahead of him bringing forward a private members’ bill later this year.
If there is support for the motion, Dr Allinson has indicated he could seek permission in March to introduce a bill, with a public consultation following in the summer.
Assisted suicide was last debated on the Isle of Man in 2015, where members of the house of Keys threw out a similar motion.
Commenting on the motion, CARE’s communications manager, James Mildred said: “Legalising assisted suicide bring a host of inherent risks.
“It places huge pressures on the elderly and most vulnerable in society and the right to die can very quickly become the duty to die.
“We hope MHK’s reject the motion and pay particular attention to the very clear evidence from around the world which proves how dangerous it is to open the door to assisted suicide.”
What is assisted suicide?
Assisted Suicide is where someone helps another person to end their own life. It is illegal in the UK under the Suicide Act 1961 section 2, which states that a person: “who aids, abets, counsels or procures the suicide of another, or an attempt by another to commit suicide, shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years.”
Physician-assisted suicide (PAS) - the doctor indirectly performs a lethal act, assisting the patient to terminate their own life. In PAS the doctor prescribes lethal medication which the patient swallows. In cases where the patient cannot take the medication, or where the suicide attempt fails, the doctor administers a lethal injection.
Voluntary euthanasia is when a competent patient consents and Non-voluntary euthanasia is when the patient lacks the competence to make an end-of-life decision.