What we are campaigning for
We want assisted dying to be legalised in the Bailiwick of Guernsey. The right to die would be afforded only to those who are terminally ill and are resident in the Bailiwick. We do not seek to promote Guernsey as a place for others to come and die.
Assisted dying is very different to assisted suicide or euthanasia. Assisted dying patients are terminally ill. They are not suicidal, but they are dying. They ask only for one final act of kindness so that they may die with dignity and not be forced to endure needless suffering in their final weeks and months.
Assisted dying has been legal in the US state of Oregon for 20 years. With 4 million people living there, Oregon has a population more than 60 times larger than Guernsey's and there has never been a single case of abuse.
20 years of evidence proves that the safeguards work. Vulnerable people are not adversely affected by assisted dying laws.
Alderney and Guernsey
contact YOUR DEPUTIES
If you want to help our campaign, the best thing you can do is email all the deputies at email@example.com
Arguments For and Against
Supporters of the assisted dying campaign believe that it is morally abhorrent to keep people alive against their wishes, particularly when they are suffering.
Stephen Hawking once said
"To keep someone alive against their wishes is the ultimate indignity."
Morality does not come from the bible. There is no moral action that a theist could perform that an atheist could not.
Just as in the rest of the civilised world, the number of religious people in Guernsey is declining steadily. It is not for the religious people amongst us to make decisions on our behalf.
Those who govern in the Bailiwick of Guernsey nobly pursue the goal of making the Bailiwick one of the happiest places to live on the planet. It is my firmly held belief that allowing assisted dying in the Bailiwick would remove the most wretched kind of unhappiness there is.
In 20 years of assisted dying in Oregon - a state with over 60 times the population of Guernsey - there has never been a single case of abuse.
There are safeguards built into the definition of assisted dying, which limits our campaign to those who are mentally competent and terminally ill.
It is clear that the safeguards work. The state of Victoria in Australia have written no fewer than 66 safeguards into their legislation.
Even at Dignitas in Switzerland where there are no safeguards, reports of abuse are extremely rare.
FOR: it's already happening elsewhere
Whatever happens in the Bailiwick of Guernsey, assisted dying is legal in other places such as Switzerland, Canada, Japan, and in the US states of Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Vermont, Montana, Washington DC, California and most recently, Hawaii.
Currently, someone in Britain travels to Dignitas in Switzerland every 8 days to obtain assistance in dying.
Why deny someone the comfort of dying in the place they call home?
Why should assisted dying only be available to those who can afford to travel to Switzerland?
Those who oppose assisted dying speak of things such as the Hippocratic oath and the workload of the States of Guernsey as insurmountable hurdles, but they are not.
The Hippocratic Oath is 2400 years old and is incompatible with modern medicine. If taken literally, it would outlaw abortion, chemotherapy and many types of surgery. Many universities don't even bother with it any more, and has been widely replaced by the Declaration of Geneva.
The States of Guernsey are, to my mind, elected to do these difficult things and assisted dying is literally a matter of life and death.
If you would like to help the campaign for assisted dying in the Bailiwick of Guernsey, please contact me using the form below. Legal assistance is particularly appreciated. I am not a lawyer and the legal framework between Alderney and Guernsey is complicated.