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Islanders eager for Jersey to lead the way on assisted dying, consultation finds

Sarah Wootton, Chief Executive of Dignity in Dying, said:

“This report confirms that the Jersey public does not just wholeheartedly support a safe, compassionate assisted dying law for the island, but that it is eager to get reform underway and wants to see Jersey lead the way for the rest of the British Isles. Islanders want more open, honest conversations about death and dying, an acknowledgment that bad deaths happen and greater choice and autonomy when the time comes; this goes to the very heart of why law change is so necessary. We need a more person-centred, truthful and compassionate approach to end-of-life care, and overseas experience tells us that this can be brought about by providing people with a greater say over how, when and where they die, within a safe, regulated system and alongside high quality care.

“Dignity in Dying looks forward to contributing to the next phase of the States’ consultation and giving terminally ill people a voice. Mounting evidence has proven that banning assisted dying is not only uncompassionate and unequal but unsafe, and any delay to reform presents a serious patient safety risk. We therefore call on States Members to ensure this process proceeds at pace, so that terminally ill islanders now and in the future can be afforded the protection, choice and compassion they need and want.”

Dignity in Dying campaigns for a change in the law to allow assisted dying as a choice for terminally ill, mentally competent adults, subject to strict safeguards and alongside access to high quality palliative care. This reform is supported by 84% of the public (Populus, 2019) and over 83,000 have signed a government petition calling for a full and fair debate on assisted dying, currently in the top 10 of more than 1,300 on the Parliament website.

A Private Member’s Bill on Assisted Dying brought by Dignity in Dying Chair Baroness Meacher passed its Second Reading unopposed in the House of Lords in October, but it fell at the prorogation of Parliament on 28th April. In Scotland, a public consultation on an Assisted Dying Bill Proposal recently received an unprecedented response, with a report due in the coming months and a vote in the Scottish Parliament expected next year. Jersey’s Parliament voted in principle for the legalisation of assisted dying in November following recommendations from a citizen’s jury on the topic, with draft legislation expected later this year. In the Isle of Man, a Private Member’s Bill on assisted dying is expected to be introduced in the coming months.

Around the world more than 200 million people have access to assisted dying laws, including one in five Americans, two in three Australians and all New Zealanders.


For further information, photos, interviews with case studies, parliamentarians and Dignity and Dying spokespeople please contact Molly Pike, Media and Campaigns Officer at Dignity in Dying on 07929 731181 or email: