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Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

Jersey Assisted Dying Citizens’ Jury

​​Background and introduction

In 2018 an e-petition was launched calling for the States Assembly to amend Jersey law and allow for assisted dying. 1,861 people signed the petition.

This was followed in 2019 by:

  • an online public survey
  • a GP and doctors' survey
  • a public meeting

These indicated that there are people in our community who support assisted dying.

The Minister for Health and Social Services committed to establishing a Citizens' Jury to consider whether assisted dying should be permitted in Jersey.

An initial report on recommendations was published on 22 June. The final report from Jersey Assisted Dying Citizen's Jury was published on 16 September 2021. This final report and recommendations formed the basis of the Council of Ministers report and proposition on Assisted Dying taken forward for debate by the States Assembly.

Jersey Assisted Dying Citizens' Jury Recommendations Initial Report

Final Report from Jersey Assisted Dying Citizens' Jury

Report and proposition on Assisted Dying on States Assembly website

In November 2021, the States Assembly became the first parliament in the British Isles to decide 'in principle' to allow assisted dying.

Vote for Assisted Dying results on States Assembly website

The Assisted Dying Citizens' Jury

Citizens' Juries are used to look at complex issues and make recommendations. It's a method of deliberation, where a small group of people (between 12 and 24), representative of the demographics of a given area, come together to carefully consider an issue.

Throughout the sessions, Jury members listen to expert witnesses. These include neutral experts, stakeholders and advocates representing all sides, so that the jury can receive a balanced and complete picture of the issue.

The Assisted Dying Citizens' Jury was selected at random and demographically represents the Island's population. The Jury consisted of 23 Jersey residents. Detail on how the Jury members were selected can be found in the final Jury report.

They were asked to answer the question: should assisted dying be permitted in Jersey and, if so, under what circumstances?

To support the Jury to answer this question, they heard from expert witnesses, both people with professional expertise on the subject and those with lived experience. 

Jury's meetings

There were a total of 10 Jury meetings that took place in Spring 2021. Speakers gave a presentation and most attended the meeting to answer questions from the Jury.

Some recordings will not be made public so Jury members can remain anonymous.

Session Focus Presentations
Session 1
Thursday 18 March

What is assisted dying?

Key background information on assisted dying, including definitions, language and the Jersey context.

Presentation 1: Hugo Forrester (see video on Youtube)

Presentation 2: Dr Alexandra Mullock and Professor Suzanne Ost

Presentation 3: Ruth Johnson

Session 2
Saturday 20 March

Which people may be eligible for assisted dying?

An introduction to eligibility criteria, processes, safeguards and authorisations

Presentation 1: Dr Isra Black

Presentation 2: Professor Rob George

Presentation 3: Professor Raphael Cohen-Almagor

Session 3
Saturday 20 March

Learning from elsewhere: North America

Cases studies from Canada and Oregon. Answering the question: which processes, authorisations and safeguards are used in places where assisted dying is permitted?

Presentation 1: Professor Jocelyn Downie

Presentation 2: Professor Trudo Lemmens

Presentation 3: Dr Nancy Berlinger

Presentation 4: Robert Preston

Session 4
Saturday 10 April

​Learning from elsewhere: Europe

Cases studies from Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland. Answering the question: which processes, authorisations and safeguards are used in places where assisted dying is permitted?

Presentation 1: Professor Sigrid Sterckx

Presentation 2: Professor Emily Jackson

Session 5
Saturday 10 April
​Different perspectives – Religious and faith-based organisations

Presentation 1: Professor David A Jones

Presentation 2: Rev Drew Waller

Presentation 3: Robert Ince

Session 5
Saturday 10 April
​Different perspectives – Campaigning groups

Presentation 1: Humanists UK – Andrew Copson

Presentation 2: Dignity in Dying – Dr Jacky Davis

Presentation 3: End of Life Choices Jersey – Michael Talibard

Presentation 4: Care Not Killing, Dr Gordon Macdonald

Session 6
Saturday 24 April
Different Perspectives: Individuals, relatives, loved ones and carers​
​Presentation 1: Alain du Chemin (see video on Youtube)

Presentation 2: Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson

Presentation 3: Anne Pryke

Presentation 3: Paul Lamb (see video on Youtube)

Session 7
Saturday 24 April
Different perspectives – Health and care professionals

Presentation 1: Rose Naylor and Dr Patrick Armstrong

Presentation 2: Dr Nigel Minihane (see video on Youtube)

Presentation 3: Dr Carol Davis

Presentation 4: Professor Sam Ahmedzai (see video on Youtube)

Presentation 5: Dr John Stewart-Jones (see video on Youtube)

Session 8
Thursday 13 March

​Reflection and responding to the question: Should assisted dying be permitted in Jersey?

Presentation 1: Professor Richard Huxtable

Presentation 2: Professor Richard Huxtable

Session 9

Saturday 15 May

​Developing clear recommendations

Reviewing and agreeing conclusions (part 1)

Presentation 1: Professor Suzanne Ost

Session 10

Saturday 15 May

​Developing clear recommendations

Reviewing and agreeing conclusions (part 2)

Presentation 1: Dr Alexandra Mullock

Support to the Jury process

Supporting the Jury process and selection of Jury members

The project team for developing the Jersey Assisted Dying Citizens' Jury included members of:

  • Government of Jersey policy team
  • Involve
  • Sortition Foundation

The role of the independent public participation charity Involve was to support the design and set up of the process. They also liaise with participants, facilitate the Jury sessions and will support participants to report back their recommendations to the States Assembly.

The Sortition Foundation led the random selection of people to take part in the Jury, in a way that is broadly representative of the Island's population.

Independent Advisory Panel

An Independent Advisory Panel was set up to oversee the planning for the Jury and ensure the integrity of the process. Members of the advisory panel were:

  • Gillian Arthur, MBE
  • Michael De La Haye, OBE
  • James Le Feuvre
  • Dr Helen Miles

The panel was established to advise the project team (Government of Jersey Policy staff and Involve). Its role was to ensure that the Citizens' Jury was balanced, robust and the process of evidence selection was comprehensive. You can find more details in the terms of reference.

Independent Advisory Panel terms of reference

Independent Advisory Panel meeting minutes, 24 November 2020

Independent Advisory Panel meeting minutes, 8 December 2020

Independent Advisory Panel meeting minutes, 13 January 2021

Independent Advisory Panel meeting minutes, 16 February 2021

Independent Advisory Panel meeting minutes, 11 March 2021

Content oversight

The project team and the Independent Advisory Panel were supported by 3 independent subject matter experts. Their role was to ensure that the design of the Jury sessions were balanced, robust and comprehensive in terms of the:

  • overall content
  • selection of speakers
  • evidence presented to Jury members

The experts were selected for their subject expertise and their range of personal positions on assisted dying:

  • Professor Richard Huxtable
  • Professor Emily Jackson
  • Professor David Jones

Expert advisors

The project team was supported by 2 expert advisors:

  • Dr Alexandra Mullock, Senior Lecturer in Medical Law at the University of Manchester
  • Professor Suzanne Ost, Law School Lancaster University 

They supported the design and delivery of the sessions in a more 'hands on' role. They also attended the Jury sessions to support participants with questions and clarifications on the subject.

Expert Advisor and Content Oversight Roles

Next steps

The Citizens' recommendations were presented in a report to the States Assembly, who debated these recommendations in November 2021. The States Assembly decided 'in principle' to allow assisted dying in Jersey.

Their next steps are to consider more detailed assisted dying proposals in November 2022. Before then, work will be undertaken with key stakeholders and a public engagement campaign will take place during spring and summer 2022. See assisted dying in Jersey for more details.

Email Assisted Dying for more information.

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