'Assisted dying could turn Guernsey into a suicide hotspot', says journalist

'Assisted dying could turn Guernsey into a suicide hotspot', says journalist

Journalist Caroline Farrow is against assisted dying (Stock image)

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

It would be unfortunate if doctors were given powers they shouldn't be entitled to have and Guernsey became a "suicide hotspot," a journalist has argued.

Caroline Farrow made the comment when discussing assisted dying with Mike Graham, who also heard the views of Dr Jacky Davis.

The Chief Minister of Guernsey is behind a bill which would allow people who have less than six months to live and are mentally competent to die with a doctor's help. It will be voted on in May and if passed it is thought that it will be put under an 18-month consultation period.

Farrow told Mike Graham: "I think it would be really unfortunate actually if Guernsey were to become some sort of suicide hotspot for the rest of the United Kingdom and indeed Europe."

It would give doctors "a power that they shouldn’t actually be entitled to have" because they'll be "suddenly put in a position where actually they do kill people and that's completely ethically wrong."

She believes it could mean "economic and convenience factors" influence the decision to end life and claimed "it is very difficult for relatives to come to terms with it when people decide to end their own life."

But consultant radiologist Dr Jacky Davis is in favour of assisted dying as she thinks "it’s just a real reassurance for the whole of society that it’s available if it’s needed.

"Of course it [being introduced in Guernsey] would bring it much closer to the mainland and it would be very difficult for the UK to hold out for very long against that."

She questioned "why when it comes to the end of life, the most important choice that we have, does the medical profession turn round and say you can’t have that choice?"

Davis added: "Nobody’s ever going to make [people who argue against this due to faith] have an assisted death, but I don’t think it’s right to impose your faith on other people."

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