Isle of Man Assisted Dying Bill moves to committee stage in Tynwald

Politicians in the Isle of Man debated assisted dying in the House of Keys. Credit: ITV News

An Bill that puts the Isle of Man on a path to become the first part of the British Isles to legalise assisted dying for terminally ill patients will now be scrutinised by a committee.

This follows a debate on its next steps on Tuesday 7 November, after Members of the House of Keys backed proposals at its Second Reading last week.

The clauses will now be considered by a committee made up of five members, who will report back by the end of February 2024. 

Dr Alex Allinson, MHK for Ramsey and a GP said: “Last week’s historic vote demonstrated the overwhelming support for our Assisted Dying Bill in the House of Keys - a reflection of the many years of local campaigning.

"Other countries, such as Australia, New Zealand and numerous American States, have proven that assisted dying can be legislated for safely, alongside access to high quality end-of-life care and with robust protections for the whole of society.

"Now we must get on with the task of getting this right for our own community in the Isle of Man.

"I look forward to working with this committee, healthcare bodies and clinicians in order to do so.”

Politicians in the Isle of Man debated assisted dying in the House of Keys. Credit: ITV Granada Reports

The Bill will then move on to the Clauses stage, where the whole House can debate the clauses and put forward any amendments, before it receives a Third Reading in the House of Keys and then progresses onto the Legislative Council.

The Bill should receive Royal Assent next year, followed by consideration of how the legislation will be implemented, with assisted dying potentially available in the Isle of Man from 2025.

Polling released last month revealed that two in three (66%) respondents in the Isle of Man supported the introduction of assisted dying as an option for terminally ill, mentally competent adults, with more than half (53%) indicating strong support.

Sarah Wootton, Chief Executive of Dignity in Dying said: “Assisted dying is a movement whose time has come for the Isle of Man, as last week’s vote has proven.

"The matter of how, when and where we die is rightly deserving of full, evidence-based debate and scrutiny, which the Assisted Dying Bill’s subsequent stages will now allow.

"These must now continue at pace, to avoid prolonging any further the suffering of dying people and their loved ones. The longer the current law remains in place, the more damage it will cause to Manx families.”