Warnings over Jersey assisted suicide proposals

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Christians are being urged to take part in a public consultation on plans to allow euthanasia and assisted suicide in Jersey.

Jersey's States Assembly has already approved assisted suicide in principle but is consulting the public on how it should work.

The consultation is open to people across Britain to respond and closes on 14 January 2023. 

Policy proposals are to be brought before the States Assembly for consideration in March, before drafting of the legislation begins. 

The first debate on the draft legislation is scheduled to take place in late spring or early summer 2024, with a new law expected to come into effect by 2025. 

This would make it the first jurisdiction in the British Isles and the Channel Islands where assisted suicide is legal. 

David Greatorex, Head of Research at The Christian Institute, is warning against the proposals.

"If any part of the British Isles liberalises the law in this way, it will increase the pressure for others to follow," he said. 

"Legalising these practices would clearly breach the Sixth Commandment and deny the value of every person as an individual made in the image of God. It would be extremely dangerous for the most vulnerable in society. It would put many people under pressure to end their lives for fear of being a financial, emotional or care burden on others.

"A law allowing euthanasia or assisted suicide is a counsel of despair. Evidence from the countries which have legalised these practices shows that the number of deaths increases year on year and the law gets wider and wider. Instead, we should be improving palliative care and showing that as a society we value all human life." 

The Christian Institute has produced a guide to the consultation and is encouraging Christians to submit their views.

The Care Not Killing alliance is also asking people to participate. 

In a briefing, it said, "Our view is that the 'safeguards' proposed are far from adequate and that no so called 'safeguards' can ever make any system of euthanasia truly safe for vulnerable people."