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Assisted dying moves a step closer to States debate

Assisted dying moves a step closer to States debate

Friday 02 March 2018

Assisted dying moves a step closer to States debate


A requête asking the States to develop laws permitting assisted dying in Guernsey has been lodged, with the required seven signatory Deputies.

Led by the President of Policy & Resources, Deputy Gavin St Pier, the document will ask the States to establish a working party which if approved will spend 18 months creating recommendations for a suitable law.

Some of the suggested matters for consideration in the creation of that law include what legal obstacles will need to be overcome, what requirements will be made as to how an assisted death is carried out, whether there should be a local requirement, the roles of doctors and any age requirements. 

The requête also states that the P&R committee will liaise with the States of Alderney to consider whether, and how, they could work together to "minimise the duplication of effort necessary to consider the issues in order to develop a suitable policy and legal regime to permit assisted dying in both islands".

The seven signatories of the requite are Deputies Gavin St Pier, Laurie Queripel, Lester Queripel, Lyndon Trott, Barry Brehaut and Peter Roffey, and Alderney Representative Graham McKinley. 

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Also included in the requete is an outline of the States' history with regards assisted dying. It highlights how in 2002 a requete was brought before the States entitled Death with Dignity, which led to a working party of a similar nature being set up then.

That approach fell through, however, after the report was reviewed.

But during the 14 years since that debate, the number of jurisdictions that permit assisted dying has increased, including the State of California, the State of Washington, Canada, and the State of Victoria. 

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The requete was lodged with the Greffe on Monday 26 February and could be included in the agenda for a States debate due to be held in April.

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