Isle of Man rejects assisted suicide

Vulnerable people on the Isle of Man will continue to be protected after politicians rejected a motion calling for the introduction of assisted suicide.

Yesterday, members of the island’s Parliament voted unanimously to simply ‘note the debate’ rather than back further parliamentary work on the issue.

A number of members spoke out against the motion including the Chief Minister, Howard Quyale.

Ahead of the vote, a number of healthcare professionals on the island expressed overwhelming opposition.

The Isle of Man Medical Society revealed that 85 percent of working doctors would not support assisted suicide.  

The Society’s President, Dr Jonathan Wilmot, and executive committee chairman Dr May Shiu Chan said doctors feared that vulnerable people would be put under pressure to die.

“They were concerned that it would not in reality be a voluntary or free choice” the group said, adding, “vulnerable people would feel an obligation to opt for it to decrease the burden on relatives or that others may believe it was best for them and seek to influence their choice”.

The Association of Palliative Medicine of Great Britain and Ireland have also stated their official position is to oppose any plan to introduce assisted suicide.

Dr David Randall, spokesman for the Our Duty of Care campaign said changing the law could put “vulnerable people at risk of suffering real or imagine pressure from others to end their lives prematurely”.

The Isle of Man rejected a call to introduce assisted suicide by 17 votes to 5 in 2015.  

Responding to the debate, CARE’s Communications Manager, James Mildred said: “Legalising assisted suicide would be a retrograde step for the Isle of Man. Not only would it put pressure on vulnerable people, but it would also fundamentally harm the vital doctor patient relationship.”

Alistair Thompson, a spokesman for the Care Not Killing Alliance, told Manx Radio that the so-called safeguards are often circumvented, that the doctors carrying out assessments do not believe they are adequate.

He noted that “half the people choosing to end their lives fear becoming a burden on their families”.

Majority of Americans want new legislation protecting unborn babies, wide-ranging poll reveals

The majority of Americans want to protect unborn babies from abortion after the first three months of pregnancy, a new poll has found. 

The new Marist Poll, shows seven in ten Americans want to protect unborn babies from abortion after the first three months of pregnancy. Nearly half (47%) of respondents who identify as ‘pro-choice’ agreed. 

Additionally, the survey found that almost two-thirds of Americans (65%) say they “are more likely to vote for” candidates who would protect unborn babies from abortion after the first three months of pregnancy. This includes more than four in 10 (44%) people who identify as Democrat voters – despite the party trying to introduce abortion up to birth in some US states. 

A new Gallup poll, released this week, also found a record number of Americans are unhappy with the nation’s abortion laws – a shift mostly caused by growing dissatisfaction among Democrats. 

Additionally, six in ten Americans oppose the use of tax dollars for abortion in the US, while an overwhelming three-quarters of Americans oppose funding overseas abortion. 

The January 2020 poll finds that, by a margin of more than five to one (80% to 14%), Americans say that laws can protect both a mother and her unborn child. 

By more than 10 percentage points (52% to 41%), a majority of Americans, believe that women should be required to have an ultrasound prior to having an abortion.

The results of the polling were released ahead of the 47th annual March for Life in Washington DC, which attracted hundreds of thousands of pro-life marchers yesterday. 

Yesterday, President Trump became the first-ever president in history to speak at the march.

The results echoes what we see in the UK where polling, from Savanta ComRes on whether time limits for abortion should be increased showed only 1% of women wanted the abortion time limit to be increased right through to birth. In contrast, 70% of women who favoured a reduction in time limits.

Similarly, to the US, there seems to be a growing dissatisfaction among voters towards candidates more likely to vote for abortion policies. Analysis, conducted by Right To Life UK, shows the current number of pro-life MPs has increased while the pro-abortion lobby has lost a large number of MPs.

Catherine Robinson, a spokesperson for Right To Life UK said: 

“Surveys like these show the limitations and illusion of the ‘pro-choice’ label and how misleading it can be. Polling consistently shows a significant number of people who identify as pro-choice also support a variety of pro-life positions.

“Pro-abortion activists, around the world, often conflate the pro-choice label to claim support for a whole host of extreme abortion measures that in reality very few people want to see. We see this in the UK with Marie Stopes International, BPAS and other activist groups aiming to hoodwink the general public and lawmakers in their push for more extreme abortion laws. 

“However, in the UK, over 70% of women want the abortion limit to be reduced to 20 weeks or lower. Only 1% of the population want abortion to be available up to birth.”