Assisted Dying Bill could help families in England and Wales

Manx politicians reject delay on assisted dying legislation debate

The Isle of Man’s politicians have voted against a proposal to postpone further debate on assisted dying legislation until autumn.

Chief Minister Alfred Cannan suggested adjourning the debate to ensure the creation of a “properly regulated and established system.” However, Alex Allinson MHK opposed the delay, arguing it “would not be fruitful.”

Members also approved amendments for an opt-in system for medics wishing to participate in the service and protections for the employment rights of conscientious objectors.

Dr. Allinson’s bill aims to give terminally ill patients the right to end their lives. Mr. Cannan highlighted that the necessary regulations for implementing an assisted dying service were not yet in place. He said:

“The flaw in this legislation, which I’ve realized recently, is that it is not a regulated service. If it were, issues around conscientious objections and registration would be moot because the service would be properly regulated.”

Onchan MHK Julie Edge supported Cannan’s position, cautioning that the MHKs risked “constructing poor legislation,” and expressed that the bill “should have been discarded long ago.”

Supporters of the adjournment noted that in Jersey, the government has drafted the proposed assisted dying bill, allowing for greater resources and wider consultation. Middle MHK Jane Poole-Wilson emphasised the need for thorough scrutiny of the legislation, while Douglas North MHK John Wannenburgh criticised the move as a “stalling technique.”

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