assisted dyingThank you Mr Speaker

I would like to start by thanking my House of Keys colleagues that supported my amendment back in November, in order to enable the clauses of the Assisted Dying Bill 2023 to be reviewed and considered by a Committee of five Members of this House.

As I mentioned back then, the Assisted Dying Bill 2023 being promoted by the Hon Member for Ramsey, Dr Allinson is a modest Bill with only 14 Clauses, but one that I felt needed to be very carefully thought through.

At the second reading stage of the bill, I also said that it was never my intention to have a fresh debate on Assisted Dying or to put this very important piece of draft legislation into the political long grass, especially after a very emotional, respectful, and an exceptionally high quality debate on the topic in 2023.
Instead, I wanted a Committee of five keys members to examine the Clauses for their practical application and in respect of the technical aspects of the Bill.
I also wanted the Committee to review the regulatory and statutory concerns in respect of this particular piece of legislation, and although the time scale was extremely tight I felt the Committee did achieve its overall objective….

…and that was only possible due to the hard work of the staff within the Clerk of Tynwald’s office, and I would like to put record my own sincere thanks for their help, especially in respect of putting together the final report for consideration by the House today.

I would also like to thank everyone that provided further evidence for the Committee to review and consider, but in particular I would like to thank His Hon the First Deemster and His Worship the High Bailiff and other key witnesses for scheduling meetings with the Committee, sometimes at short notice, in order to discuss a particular Clause within the Bill.

I also hope that my colleagues have found the report helpful, because I personally found the process of this Committee invaluable and helpful, especially when we all know that this draft piece of legislation is both complex and sensitive….
The draft legislation before the House still has a very difficult and long journey ahead, in order to take this draft legislation into actual operation – should it receive the support from the branches.

Members will still also have the option to request a “Committee of the Whole House” as we go through the Clauses stage of the Bill, in order to help answer any remaining technical questions around the practical application of this particular piece of draft legislation.
For me personally I think most of my technical questions were answered by key witnesses called, but I still intend to bring forward individual amendments relating to the “Short Title” and around the “Residency Period”.

Despite spending the last couple of months going through this draft legislation in great detail, I still have some deep rooted concerns in respect of safeguarding, insurance policies, cost and the role of the pharmacist…

….but at the heart of this draft piece of legislation is a very “personal and difficult choice” by the individual, which I fully respect….
Other than Conclusion 1, for the reason already given, I fully support the remaining Conclusions and the findings of the Committee.

Thank you Mr Speaker