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Brakes on over assisted dying, for now

Brakes on over assisted dying, for now

Friday 11 May 2018

Brakes on over assisted dying, for now


An amendment has been lodged by the Deputies who signed the assisted dying Requete that deletes every proposition it held and replaces them all.

The move is said to have been in reaction to the public debate that has arisen around the subject since the Requete was first brought, and to correct "insufficiently clear" language within the original proposals.

“We are very grateful to all those who have actively and constructively engaged with us to share their concerns about the wording in the original propositions and have worked with us to address those concerns in the drafting of this amendment," Deputy Gavin St Pier, the deputy who has led the pro-assisted dying campaign so far, said.

The amendment removes a reporting deadline within 18 months in order to ensure the date does not divert resources from other important projects. It also proposes that effective disability and capacity legislation must also be in place before assisted dying could "take effect", and an independent body with islanders' equality and rights as a priority is established.

A working party's establishment is also planned to direct the legislation.

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"We always felt it was self-evident that the Requete would need to be prioritised in accordance with the normal Policy & Resources Plan process in exactly the same way as the many other competing policies," Deputy Lyndon Trott said.

"But, having listened to these objections, we feel that it would be better to put this beyond doubt in the proposition itself.”

In preparing the amendment, the Requerant deputies said they carefully considered calls for the final legislation to be put to a public referendum. Deputy Laurie Queripel said: “We are arguing our case on the principles involved but are also very confident it has broad public support. If any deputy thinks otherwise then they are free to propose that the legislation should only become operative when approved in a public referendum. Whilst in our system, we think the States of Deliberation is the right place to make these kinds of decisions, we would not oppose such a move.”

Another part of the amendment states P&R will liaise with Alderney over the topic. 

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