A golden sunset over the water on the Isle of Man.

Humanist Society welcomes vote in favour of assisted dying on Isle of Man

November 2, 2023

The Isle of Man’s parliament has voted in favour of a bill to introduce assisted dying for terminally ill people. The Assisted Dying Bill won a vote following its second reading at the Isle of Man’s parliament by 70% (17 votes to 7). We are delighted by this decision, which is likely to result in legalised end-of-life choices for Manx citizens by 2025. It sets a clear precedent for the rest of the UK to follow

Like the law proposed by Liam McArthur MSP in Scotland, the Manx bill applies only to mentally competent, terminally ill adults (on the Isle of Man, they must be expected to die within six months). It will not apply to people with non-terminal, long-term health conditions. Citizens applying for assisted dying will also have to have been resident on the island for a year. This will prevent short-term travel to the island for assisted dying.

This is a victory for compassion and common sense. It’s a chance to debunk misconceptions and to show how people’s lives can be improved by giving them agency and choice over the terms of their death.

Fraser Sutherland, CEO, Humanist Society Scotland

The bill will pass to a third vote on 7 November concerning legislative details and potential amendments. Following a third reading on the same day, the legislative council of the Manx parliament will move to implementation. The bill should receive royal assent next year.

Our CEO Fraser Sutherland commented: “This is a victory for compassion and common sense. The provision of assisted dying on the Isle of Man could be a model for how similar legislation might work in Scotland. It’s a chance to debunk misconceptions and to show how people’s lives can be improved by giving them agency and choice over the terms of their death.”

Image: sunset on the Isle of Man, c. Neil Howard/Creative Commons.

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