Guernsey may become the first place in the British Isles to permit assisted dying, with the UK Parliament to vote on its proposals in May, as first reported in UK newspaper, The Mirror.
With Switzerland being the only place in the world that accepts foreign nationals to take their own life on compassionate grounds, Guernsey could be a gateway for people in mainland UK who are terminally ill, mentally competent and have less than six months to live to rightfully end their life with the help of a doctor.
In a poll carried out in 2015 by Dignity in Dying, which campaigns for a change in the UK law, 82 percent of the public were in favour of legalised assisted dying and two-thirds (66 percent) of people said they would consider breaking the law to assist a terminally ill loved one to have an assisted death abroad.
However, although Guernsey is a British crown dependency and therefore able to set its own laws, they yet have to be approved by the Privy Council, a body of senior Westminster politicians who majority voted against an assisted dying bill in 2015.
The island’s chief minister, Gavin St Pier who is behind this proposal said: “This is about giving people choice and a sense that they have some control themselves, rather than being frightened, out of control and in the hands of others. That for me is why it is such an important issue.”
If Guernsey’s parliament passes the bill, it will be subject to an 18-month consultation period, as reported by The Mirror.
Guernsey voted to change the law in 2002, but the proposals were dismissed.
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