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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”.

Help stop abortion up to birth for babies with disabilities including Down's syndrome & club foot

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Dear reader

In 2020, the UK Government imposed an extreme abortion regime on Northern Ireland, which included a provision that legalised abortion right up to birth for disabilties including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot.

A new Bill has been launched at the Northern Ireland assembly that will remove the current provision that allows abortion for ‘severe fetal impairment’.

It is under these grounds in the regulations that babies with disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot can currently be singled out for abortion in Northern Ireland because of their disability and can be aborted right up to birth.

Before the new abortion regime was imposed on Northern Ireland in 2020, disability-selective abortion for conditions such as Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot was not legal and there was a culture of welcoming and supporting people with these disabilities rather than eliminating them.

This is reflected directly in the latest figures (2016) from the Department of Health in Northern Ireland, which show that while there were 52 children born with Down’s syndrome in Northern Ireland, in the same year only 1 child from Northern Ireland with Down’s syndrome was aborted in England and Wales. 

This contrasts with the situation in the rest of the United Kingdom where disability-selective abortion has been legal since 1967.

The latest available figures show that 90% of children diagnosed with Down’s syndrome before birth are aborted in England and Wales.

We are, therefore, asking people like you to take 30 seconds of your time and add your support to the campaign to stop abortion up to birth for disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot in Northern Ireland.

If you live in Northern Ireland: 
Ask your MLAs to vote to stop abortion up to birth for disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot:

If you live outside Northern Ireland: 
Show your support by signing this petition in support of the Bill:

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Help stop abortion up to birth for babies with disabilities including Down's syndrome & club foot

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