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Jersey lawmakers take first step towards assisted suicide law

Assisted Suicide
25 November 2021
Jersey States Assembly

Politicians in Jersey have taken a step towards legalising assisted suicide.

In a vote last night, members of the States Assembly backed the principle of 'assisted dying' by 36 votes to 10.

This opens the door to another debate and vote on more specific processes and 'safeguards' in 2022.

If politicians still support assisted suicide at this stage, legislation will be brought forward and vote on in 2023.

Assisted suicide has been met with strong opposition on the island, including by doctors.

This week, 65 medics - more than 10 per cent of doctors on the island – warned Jersey’s Health Minister not to change the law.

A letter to Minister Richard Renouf expressed concerns that “the most vulnerable members of our society” could feel “coerced into a decision they would not make if the law did not permit it".

"It is very hard for clinicians to diagnose unbearable suffering or to predict time to death accurately for many conditions”, it added.

Mr Renouf has said he is opposed to a change in the law based on fears as a medic and past lawyer that no amount of safeguards would guard against abuses.

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Assisted Suicide

Where assisted suicide is legal, it makes vulnerable people feel like a burden. CARE works to uphold laws that protect those people, and to assist them to live—not to commit suicide.

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