An amendment to the Government Work Plan has succeeded in making sure an already-delayed review of end-of-life care finally happens.
The original draft of the GWP included the review of end-of-life-care as a priority 3 action, potentially being held in abeyance until 2026 at the earliest.
This is despite it being voted in 37-1 in 2018, and the completed review being expected last year.
“This is a problem that will not go away just because we refuse to do this review now,” said Deputy St Pier, who proposed the amendment.
Pictured: “End-of-life will come to us all, and improving that care is what our islanders need,” said Deputy St Pier.
Deputy St Pier went to great lengths to distance the debate from assisted dying. He led an unsuccessful requete in 2018 calling for it to be seriously investigated in the previous political term and suggested recently that assisted dying should be decided via referendum.
“Although the debate has talked about assisted dying, perhaps inevitably because it arose from that debate, there is nothing in the amendment today that refers to assisted dying.
"It’s about improving alternative end-of-life provision, including palliative care.”
He argued that the States had promised to complete the review and should deliver on that promise. “The only reason for not doing this is that the Assembly is making a political choice that they don’t wish to do it.”
Pictured: The amendment reinstates the review as a priority in the GWP, which will be voted on in full either today or tomorrow.
Deputy Jonathon Le Tocq laid a similar amendment in 2018 during the assisted dying debate and noted that some might assume that he’d support Deputy St Pier's amendment,
However, despite Deputy St Pier’s suggestion otherwise, Deputy Le Tocq was concerned about the issue of assisted dying returning.
“I fear that Deputy St Pier conflates end-of-life care with end-of-life facilitation, and I make a very clear distinction between those,” he said.
The President of Health and Social Care, Deputy Al Brouard, defended the decision to delay the review as being a matter of prioritisation.
“During the early stages of the GWP, the Committee agreed that it be appropriate to pause the work being done on end-of-life-care, not because the work is unimportant, but because of competing priorities within HSC,” he said.
Despite these concerns, and concerns about the human resource required to complete the review, the amendment was passed 23-13.
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