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Assisted dying in Jersey

About assisted dying

Assisted dying is where a person has a terminal illness, or experiences unbearable physical suffering, and chooses to end their life with the help of a medical professional.

Assisted dying is not the same as suicide. Assisted dying is a service provided to people in certain limited circumstances that will be set out in law.

It does not replace the palliative care and end of life services which provide the support and care that most people want and need. Assisted dying is an additional choice that some people may make to have more control over the manner and timing of their death.

Decision from Jersey's States Assembly

In November 2021, Jersey's States Assembly became the first parliament in the British Isles to decide 'in principle' that assisted dying should be allowed and make arrangements for the provision of an assisted dying service. The debate on assisted dying was informed by recommendations of the Jersey Assisted Dying Citizens' Jury.

Vote for Assisted Dying results on States Assembly website

Assisted dying service in Jersey

An 'in principle' decision means the States Assembly wants to receive more information before confirming how an assisted dying service in Jersey should operate. These decisions are the first steps towards assisted dying being permitted in Jersey.

The States Assembly agreed 'in principle' that a person could be assisted to die either by taking medication or being given medication. A person who could choose to have an assisted death would be a Jersey resident who:

  • is aged 18 or over
  • has the capacity to take a decision to end their life
  • has been diagnosed with a terminal illness and has a life expectancy of 6 months or less, or has an incurable physical condition that causes enduring and unbearable suffering

The person's decision to access assisted dying must also be:

  • voluntary, the decision would be their own choice, freely made with no pressure or coercion from others.
  • continuing, meaning that their choice is settled and stays the same.
  • fully informed, the person must be well-informed about their disease and their care and treatment options

Safeguards

Safeguards must be in place to protect people choosing an assisted death and people involved in providing this service, for example, doctors and nurses. The safeguards include:

  • a pre-approval process. To determine if the person requesting an assisted death meets the criteria set out in the law. This may involve a decision taken by a court or specialist tribunal
  • the pre-approval process will include a period of reflection. To ensure a person is certain about their decision to proceed
  • that a person may change their mind at any point during the process and decide not to proceed with an assisted death
  • a conscientious objection clause. This allows medical professionals to choose if they want to assist the person to die

Public engagement 

During March and April 2022 Islanders were asked to take part in the first phase of public engagement on assisted dying proposals. Islanders were asked to share their views on assisted dying in Jersey. They could do this online via:

  • email
  • sli.do
  • social media

They could also attend in-person events at Parish halls and the town library.

Public engagement response report 

Islanders were asked to share their:

  • questions
  • comments
  • thoughts

These views were collected and published as key themes and questions in the public engagement summary report on assisted dying in Jersey. They will help inform the development of the detailed proposals for the States Assembly's consideration in early 2023.

Individual responses remain anonymous unless they were provided by an or

ganisation who has given consent for the comments to be attributed to them.

Assisted Dying public engagement privacy notice

Next phase of public engagement 

The next phase of public engagement will be the opportunity to comment on detailed policy proposals. The public consultation will launch in October, running for a period of 12 weeks.

Next steps

Following their 'in principle' decision, the States Assembly's next steps are to consider more detailed proposals on assisted dying. See the timeline below for more details:

Timeframe
Action
November 2021The States Assembly approved assisted dying 'in principle'
March and April 2022
Talk to islanders, ask questions, share thoughts
​17 October 2022 
to
14 January 2023
​Public consultation on detailed proposal
March 2023
States Assembly debate on detailed assisted dying proposals
March 2024
Preparation of draft legislation
April 2024
Draft legislation debated in States Assembly
April 2024
to
September 2025
Implementation period of assisted dying service in Jersey (if legislation is passed), including:
  • training of health professionals
  • development of website and public information
  • set up of service and regulatory regime 

Assisted Dying in Jersey leaflets

Further information on the public engagement and next steps is provided in the assisted dying leaflet.

Assisted Dying in Jersey leaflet in English

Assisted Dying in Jersey leaflet in Polish

Assisted Dying in Jersey leaflet in Portuguese

Assisted Dying in Jersey leaflet in Romanian

Wellbeing support

Assisted dying is a sensitive subject. If you need support, contact:

Mind Jersey on 0800 7359404 or visit Mind Jersey website

The Listening Lounge on 01534 866793 or visit Listening Lounge website

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