Isle of Man to debate assisted dying in January 2020

Posted On: 
10th January 2020

The Parliament of the Isle of Man, Tynwald, has announced that it will debate assisted dying at its January sitting, which begins on the 21st of January 2020.

Dr Alex Allinson, Member of the House of Keys (MHK) for Ramsey, brought the following motion, which will be debated at the January sitting of Tynwald: “That Tynwald is of the opinion that legislation to allow for voluntary assisted dying should be introduced”. The debate does not involve specific proposals for legislation at this stage.

Dr Allinson said, “Tynwald is the oldest continuous parliament in the world and has debated assisted dying several times in the past. With a growing population and progressive political outlook I feel that now is the right time for us to consider how we enhance personal autonomy and provide more choice in achieving safe and compassionate end-of-life care”.

Sarah Wootton, Chief Executive of Dignity in Dying, said, “In debating this important topic, the Isle of Man takes a step towards legalising assisted dying – a move that is supported by the overwhelming majority of the British public.

“There has been phenomenal progress in the UK and around the world over the past year. In the UK, the Royal College of Physicians’ move to a position of neutrality on assisted dying shows that medical opinion in this country is changing. Next month, the Royal College of GPs will announce the results of its own survey, and the British Medical Association will launch its first ever poll on the subject.

“Overseas, in 2019 politicians in Western Australia, Hawaii, New Jersey, Maine and New Zealand grasped the nettle and voted to give their citizens the choice to die on their own terms. Soon one in three Australians, one in five Americans, all Canadians and (pending a public vote) all New Zealanders will have access to safe, compassionate assisted dying laws. Momentum is building around the world and the Isle of Man can and should lead the way for the UK.”