The British Island of Guernsey refused to legalize assisted suicide by a vote of 24 to 14.
This is incredible news, considering the resources that the powerful assisted suicide lobby invested into passing assisted suicide in Guernsey. Assisted suicide proponents hoped Guernsey would be an “opening” to the legalization of assisted suicide throughout the UK.
The island of Guernsey is located off the coast of Normandy and falls under the responsibility of the U.K. Had the island passed the euthanasia measure, Guernsey would have been the first place on the British Isles to allow physician assisted suicide.
According to The Guardian, the assisted suicide proposal was based on the Oregon model: “The proposal sought to adopt the Oregon model, which would’ve allowed euthanasia for those with a diagnosis of terminal illness with less than six months to live and full mental capacity.” However, as Oregon has found out, diagnoses are often wrong, and estimates of time left to live are often wrong.
A coalition of groups formed to defeat the bill included disability rights groups – Not Dead Yet UK, and the Guernsey Disability Alliance, also the British Medical Association, and the Care Not Killing Alliance in the UK.
Carmen, from Assisted Living in Guernsey booked Kevin Dunn, producer of the powerful film, Fatal Flaws (https://fatalflawsfilm.com/), to speak to the audience after the movie showing in Guernsey. “We are happy to state that several members of the Guernsey parliament attended the movie and one member changed their position on assisted suicide after watching it.”
Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth, whose diocese encompasses Guernsey, said on Twitter, “Delighted to learn that Guernsey has rejected the proposals for physician assisted suicide and euthanasia!”.
“Thanks be to God for answering our prayer during this Great Novena leading to Pentecost,” Egan continued.
Peter Saunders, campaign director for the Care Not Killing Alliance was reported in the Shropshire Star saying, “We welcome this strong rejection of this dangerous proposition by the elected Deputies on the Island. Parliamentarians across the UK have rightly rejected attempts to introduce assisted suicide and euthanasia ten times since 2003 out of concern for public safety, including in 2015 when the House of Commons overwhelmingly voted to to keep the current law without any change, 330 to 118 votes. We know the Deputies in Guernsey will now turn their attention to the real issues facing disabled people and the terminally ill on the island, ensuring equality of access to the very best health care available and how to fund this.”
When the Assisted Suicide bill was first being pushed, quite a few Christian leaders voiced their opposition in a joint letter signed by 53 pastoral ministers and 41 churches.
Advocates for the assisted suicide campaign voiced their disappointment over the May 18 ruling, including Sarah Wootton, the chief executive for Dignity in Dying. “Many in Guernsey and beyond will be disappointed with today’s result, particularly those who have seen the suffering caused by the current law,” she said, although she noted the decision was not unexpected. “Regardless of today’s result, it is clear that change must and will come to the British Isles – the only question is ‘when,’” she continued.
Recently the parliament of Finland also rejected euthanasia, and a California court struck down the assisted suicide law there as unconstitutional.