“Assisted dying could really put vulnerable people in the Isle of Man at risk … using the words 'dying with dignity' makes you assume people cannot die with dignity without euthanasia, but they can,” he said. “There are plenty of ways to have a good death without it.”
Dr. David Randall, spokesman for Our Duty of Care, said the Isle of Man has “superb palliative care services” which allow for “a comfortable and dignified death.”
Briefing Tynwald members Jan. 21, he said legalizing assisted suicide could put “vulnerable people at risk of suffering real or imagined pressure from others to end their lives prematurely.”
Not Dead Yet UK, a disabled persons' advocacy group, said that “there is no safe system of assisted suicide and disabled people want help to live, not to die.”
The group noted that the motion in favor of assisted suicide was listed below a Tynwald agenda item to receive a committee report on suicide and to approve 13 recommendations for suicide prevention and for psychological support of people experiencing “moderate to severe emotional reactions to illnesses.”
“These should serve as reminders that no group should be excluded from efforts to prevent suicide, including those influenced by serious illness,” the coalition said Jan. 13. Any proposal to legalize assisted suicide, it warned, tries to separate “those suicides which should be discouraged, and those which should be brought to fruition.”
“Members of Tynwald Court should focus on suicide prevention for all, and access to high quality palliative and social care for all, rather than settling for assisted suicide's counsel of despair,” said Care Not Killing.
The group warned that there is no evidence that assisted suicide has become safer or easier to regulate, nor is there evidence that the Isle of Man’s provision of end-of-life care is so great “that no one could be driven to seek their own death for fear of being a care burden or financial drain.”
Both the Isle of Man Medical Society and the Association of Palliative Medicine of Great Britain and Ireland oppose legalization of assisted suicide.
Backers of legal assisted suicide include the group Isle of Man Freethinkers, which holds it a matter of personal autonomy “to make decisions about their life and death” and says debate should be “based on science and compassion”.
Efforts to legalize assisted suicide have repeatedly failed to pass. The last vote, held in 2015, failed 17-5 in the House of Keys.
(Story continues below)
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