• Law / Life

Vulnerable people on the Isle of Man will continue to be protected after politicians rejected efforts to weaken the law on assisted suicide.

Yesterday Tynwald, the island’s Parliament, debated the issue but decided against preparing legislation.

The Christian Institute welcomed the result, thanking God that politicians “upheld the value of human life in the face of pressure from pro-euthanasia activists”.

Under pressure

Ahead of the vote, Manx medics expressed overwhelming opposition.

The Isle of Man Medical Society said it had found 85 per cent of working doctors would not support assisted suicide.

Society President Dr Jonathan Wilmot and executive committee chairman Dr May Shiu Chan said doctors feared that vulnerable people would be put under pressure to die.

“They were concerned that it would not in reality be a voluntary or free choice” the group said, adding, “vulnerable people would feel an obligation to opt for it to decrease the burden on relatives or that others may believe it was best for them and seek to influence their choice”.

Unanimous

In the debate, which followed one on suicide prevention, the Manx Parliament considered whether to push ahead with changing the law.

David Ashford, who represents the Douglas North area, proposed an amendment to say that the Parliament “notes the debate” and the “individual views” but removed the reference to preparing legislation.

Manx politicians unanimously backed his amendment.

Republished by permission of the Christian Institute.

Picture by Luke McKernan via Flickr [CC BY-SA 2.0]. Image cropped.

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