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Express survey signals very strong support for assisted dying

Express survey signals very strong support for assisted dying

Thursday 10 May 2018

Express survey signals very strong support for assisted dying


Islanders have very strongly signalled their support for allowing doctors to help terminally ill patients ‘die with dignity’ in their response to an Express poll.

Guernsey could approve ground-breaking assisted dying legislation that would be the first of its kind in the UK in just a few days time - but should Jersey follow suit?

The response to a survey run by Express last week suggested that the answer was overwhelmingly ‘yes'.

More than 1,000 islanders chose to take part in the poll, with 90.6% (954 islanders) stating that they would support assisted dying proposals in Jersey.

Just 9.4% - 99 respondents – said that they were against the idea.

assisteddyingpoll.png

Pictured: Results from Express's assisted dying poll.

The issue has never before been raised in the States Chamber, nor have the island’s previous Health Ministers sought to legislate on it. Senator Andrew Green – the outgoing Minister – did not express an opinion on the topic during his term, while his predecessor Anne Pryke said that she opposed it. 

Palliative care charity Jersey Hospice have also said that they disapproved of the move, arguing that the focus should be on “the right to die well”, rather than the right to die. 

But the strength of feeling in Guernsey, which has seen religious leaders, campaigners, academics, members of foreign governmentsand even comedian Ricky Gervais speak out on the issue, may put it on the incoming government’s agenda. 

assisted dying suicide Guernsey media

Pictured: Guernsey's Assisted Dying plans, which the island's top politician confirmed did not include moves towards 'suicide clinics' or seek to encourage 'suicide tourism', hit national headlines when first announced.

Guernsey will make a decision on assisted dying on 16 May – the same day that Jersey residents go to the polls for the General Election.

 

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Posted by William Boyd on
I am cnflicted regarding this. I personally would have no qualms about doing away with myself if I were in unbearable pain. I would prefer a medical professional to do it. However, the whole thing is a minefield. There is the 'slippery slope' argument to consider. When abortion was introduced - and I am not wholesale anti abortion - it was not going to be on demand. We have that now or close to it. Then there is the danger of descendants doing away with mummy and daddy to inherit money and property. Obviously not topping the patients themselves but cajoling them into agreeing to it. I have had my pets put to sleep because not to would have been more cruel. It needs a lot of thought, debate, consideration and goodwill on both sides of such a debate to come up with a position to put to the people.
Posted by nigel pearce on
I hope, if Guernsey decides to allow euthanasia and Jersey then follows suit, that the two islands will make the same laws and not get two sets of consultants from the UK, which is inevitable despite there being enough expertise in both our islands to make our laws unassisted.
Posted by sara starkey on
I am not at all surprised....it really is the sane and logical answer. My husband Andrew Tyler had to go to Dignitas (April 2017). i accompanied him. it was a 'good' death....but it could have been a 'great' death if he'd been allowed to die at home rather than flee to a foreign land to die as he wished. Still as Andrew rather than the ghost of the man he was rapidly descending into, due to the pain he was suffering and the ever more drugs he was taking causing ever more side effects.

The claim that most DO NOT want change is most odd....as this letter to the Guernsey Deputy
Gavin St Pier put up on a tweet from the BMA's Dr Anthea Mowat (Representative Body Chair) sent him shows.

The letter says, and I quote: 'We most recently addressed this issue in 2015 in a MAJOR RESEARCH PROJECT WITH BOTH DOCTORS AND PATIENTS (my emphasis) to seek their views. This robust, detailed process culminated in a motion at the 2016 Annual Representative Meeting (ARM) in which our members voted to remain opposed to assisted dying.'
My detail: only 313 were at the ARM meeting out of 156,000 BMA members.

I’d be very interested to know who were these ‘patients’, how many were there in this ‘robust research project’, what were these ‘patients’ actually asked and most importantly…..how was the question framed?

I have also read the GMC’s ‘Guidance for the Investigation Committee and case examiners when considering allegations about a doctor’s involvement in encouraging or assisting suicide’.

On page two under the heading ‘Ethical guidance and principles’ it says, under bullet point 6:
‘Our guidance is developed through extensive consultation with the profession AND THE PUBLIC’ (my emphasis).

I find this odd as over 80% of the public, by most surveys, want change on this issue . Equally the latest BMJ poll showed over 50% of medics were in favour.
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