People in Jersey are being invited to join a Citizens Jury to discuss if assisted dying should be allowed in the island.
Invites are being sent to 4,600 randomly selected households, calling on anyone over the age of 16 to register their interest in taking part in the discussion. The government says those selected will "demographically represent" the island's population. Once established, the jury will hold online sessions in the Spring, with the main question being should assisted dying be permitted in Jersey and if so, under what circumstances? The aim is for the jury to then make their recommendations to the States Assembly at the end of the year.
Jersey's Health Minister says he wanted to set up the Citizen's Jury last year but had to delay it because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Every member of the Jury will have a pivotal role in helping ensure that the States, and other key stakeholders, benefit from an in-depth understanding of our community’s response to assisted dying ahead of a debate later this year...I hope that islanders will register their interest in participating. This is a real opportunity to influence and inform future policy and legislation in Jersey.
An independent panel has also been set up to ensure the integrity of the jury and that it is engaged with best practice.
We will work with independent organisations, who are leaders in participatory democracy, to ensure that the make- up of the Jury represents our Island, and that the evidence presented to Jury members is balanced, accurate and comprehensive.
Guernsey campaigner Sarah Griffith pushed for politicians in Guernsey to debate legalising assisted dying in 2018, although failed to get the law changed.
Jess Dunsdon asked her how significant this panel could be for Jersey ...