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Humanists welcome Jersey Government’s move to look into assisted dying

Noirmont Point Lighthouse, St. Aubin`s Bay, Jersey

Channel Islands Humanists and Humanists UK have welcomed a decision by the Council of Ministers to commission detailed research into end-of-life choices in Jersey.

The research will look into the options of assisted dying and will cover issues associated with protection for patients and ethical codes of conduct.

The decision yesterday came about following a petition in favour of a change in law, launched by End of Life Choices Jersey. Last week the group co-founded the Assisted Dying Coalition alongside Humanists UK.

In announcing the review, Health Minister Deputy Richard Renouf said that the ‘shared values of care, freedom of choice and compassion’ must underpin the review.

The announcement was welcomed by Channel Islands Humanists which campaigns for assisted dying across Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, and Sark.

Channel Islands Humanists Chair Dave Crocker said:

‘It is welcome news that the Government is to look into assisted dying in Jersey as this is an extremely important issue for locals.

‘It is vital that dignity, autonomy, and freedom of choice are maintained throughout our lives, and for many this can only be possible by changing the law to allow assisted dying for those who are of sound mind but who are terminally ill or incurably suffering. As the Jersey Government will no doubt discover, evidence from other jurisdictions shows that such a change in the law is possible whilst having safeguards that protect anyone from being coerced into ending their life who does not wish to.’

Other members of the Assisted Dying Coalition are Friends at the End, Humanist Society Scotland, and My Death, My Decision.

NOTES:

For further comment or information, please contact Humanists UK press manager Casey-Ann Seaniger at casey@humanism.org.uk or phone 020 7324 3078 or 07 393344293.

Read the Jersey Council of Ministers’ announcement: https://www.gov.je/News/2019/Pages/AssistedDying.aspx

For more information on Channel Islands Humanists, visit https://humanism.org.uk/channel-islands/

For information about the Assisted Dying Coalition, visit http://assisteddying.org.uk/about/

For more information on Humanists UK’s campaign on assisted dying, visit https://humanism.org.uk/campaigns/public-ethical-issues/assisted-dying/

Humanists UK advances free thinking and promotes humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. Its work brings non-religious people together to develop their own views, helping people be happier and more fulfilled in the one life we have. Through its ceremonies, education services, and community and campaigning work, it strives to create a fair and equal society for all.

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