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Tributes to campaigner for assisted dying in Jersey

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AN Islander has vowed to continue the fight to allow assisted dying in Jersey following the death of Roberta Tupper from Grouville.

Tanya Tupper with her mother Roberta Tupper (25214691)

Mrs Tupper died last Friday after a four-and-a-half year illness. She was diagnosed with stage-four lung cancer in early 2015 and spoke frequently of having watched both her parents succumbing to cancer and her wish to be allowed to travel to Switzerland to end her life.

Tom Binet, another of those to have campaigned for assisted dying, paid tribute to Mrs Tupper.

‘She campaigned very bravely for something that she believed in very strongly,’ he said. ‘The whole issue will be carried on very forcefully, and we will do whatever we can to force a slightly reluctant government to move it forward in line with public opinion.’

A petition to allow those with capacity to have a choice to end their own lives, was set up in August 2018 by Mrs Tupper’s daughter Tanya, attracting 1,861 signatures. This prompted a ministerial response, followed in February of this year by a pledge from the Council of Ministers to carry out detailed research into the issue.

Chief Minister John Le Fondré said at the time: ‘This is a sensitive and challenging subject, and we need to understand not only the ethical, legal and social consequences, but also any potential ramifications on our relationship with the UK.

‘When the Health Minister brought this matter to the Council of Ministers for consideration, we agreed we would draw on the extensive work already done in other parts of the British Isles, and develop a clear view on the issue before consulting Islanders. Once we have a better understanding of the research already carried out by neighbouring jurisdictions, we will proceed to a public consultation on the options and their implications.’

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