Healthcare practitioners express their deep concerns about the introduction of assisted suicide and euthanasia on the Island of Jersey

If you are a healthcare worker in Jersey, you can add your name below the letter

Dear Minister for Health and Social Security

Assisted suicide and euthanasia are not healthcare.  The current proposals in the States Assembly run counter to our actions as health care professionals. We console, reassure and support many in desperate situations. Patients often are weary, distressed or depressed. These are not reasons to help them die but to affirm their value, worth and intrinsic dignity. 

We understand those who call for euthanasia do so from compassionate motives, but there will be unintended consequences for us all. Loss of trust in health care, loss of doctors from the Island, elderly patients being pressurized into suicide – this is not the community we want to build. Instead, let Jersey be known for excellence in palliative, psychological and social care. Let us do the work we ought to do.

  • Safeguards proposed to protect vulnerable groups will quickly be eroded. The original safeguards in Canada were dismantled by legal challenge. In 2023, just 7 years after the first Bill came into law, euthanasia will be permitted for those who are mentally ill.1
  • Laws send social messages. Does a right to euthanasia entail a duty for the doctor to discuss it with all seriously ill patients?
  • Good healthcare depends on the trust of the patient in the doctor. That trust is hard to win and easy to lose.  Have we forgotten the outrage over blanket DNACPR decisions for patients in care homes? 2
  • Many patients are frail, anxious, deaf, have impaired communication or cognition. How easy is it to establish, beyond reasonable doubt, that they have capacity to make a life-ending decision? There is no room for error and little reserve in the stretched Island health services to make proper assessments.

We encourage all to respond to the consultation.  But whatever the outcome, we will not take part in assisted suicide or euthanasia. The current law is the only real safeguard.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Helen Thomas and Dr Andreas Melchior


If you are a healthcare practitioner on the Island of Jersey, please add your name to the letter to the Health Minister by clicking on the button below and adding your detials in the form.

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