Assisted-dying project delayed

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WORK to examine whether assisted dying should be legalised has been delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Health Minister Richard Renouf

Health Minister Richard Renouf announced earlier this year that a timetable was to be set out and a citizens’ jury established to investigate whether legalising assisted dying in Jersey would be appropriate.

However, with Covid-19 placing a number of government projects on the back-burner, those discussions have been put on hold.

A spokeswoman for the government said: ‘The Health Minister wrote to Assembly members in February setting out plans to create a citizens’ jury to consider the medical, ethical, legal and regulatory issues associated with assisted dying. Due to Covid-19, the project has been on hold but continues to be in development.

‘Updates on progress will be made accordingly.’

Campaign groups have called for assisted dying to be legalised in the Island, and an online petition supporting such a move became the first to surpass 1,000 signatures, triggering a ministerial response.

In September last year, a survey found that 60% of the Island’s doctors would be in favour of assisted dying for terminally ill patients.

However, the research, commissioned by End of Life Choices Jersey, also found that only 45% would take the same view for someone suffering an illness that caused unbearable suffering but was not terminal.

Another survey also ordered by the organisation, which was completed by 1,420 Islanders, indicated strong support for assisted dying.

Jonny Drury

By Jonny Drury

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