Isle of Man Assisted Dying Committee Publishes Report

The Isle of Man moved one step closer to a compassionate assisted dying law today, as a parliamentary committee has published a supportive report on Dr Alex Allinson’s Assisted Dying Bill. My Death, My Decision welcomes this move, but urges politicians not to ignore people suffering unbearably from incurable physical conditions, like the late assisted dying campaigner Tony Nicklinson, who had locked-in syndrome and would not be eligible under the proposed legislation.

The House of Keys, the lower house of Tynwald, Isle of Man’s parliament, published the report made by a committee of five members. The assisted dying bill report scrutinised previous proposals and made several amendments.

Mrs Caine MHK expressed support for the inclusion of a line recognising that the assisted death should be based on ‘unbearable suffering’ and that eligibility should be based on having 12 months or fewer left to live, rather than six months as originally proposed. This is a step in the right direction, but My Death,My Decision  considers it should extend to those suffering unbearably from incurable physical conditions. 

This news comes on the same day the Assisted Dying for Terminally Ill Adults (Scotland) Bill has been published. My Death, My Decision welcomed the bill but similarly expressed support for it to go further.

Austria, Belgium, Canada, Switzerland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Spain have compassionate, working and safe assisted dying laws that allow people who aren’t terminally ill but are undeniably, unbearably suffering, the option of an assisted death. In Belgium, assisted deaths of people who aren’t terminally ill make up one in five of all assisted deaths.

Last month, we released a report that shows that half the assisted deaths of UK residents in Switzerland were of people who would not have been helped by a law limited to the terminally ill

Trevor Moore, Chair of My Death, My Decision said:

“Today we have seen historic developments around the British Isles in the campaign for a compassionate, dignified assisted dying law, with both Scotland and the Isle of Man moving forward. Politicians on the Isle of Man should be commended for supporting the continued progress of Dr Alex Allinson’s Bill – reflecting the overwhelming public support.

Nevertheless, at My Death, My Decision we believe that competent adults who are intolerably suffering from incurable conditions  – like locked-in syndrome, or for example paralysed after an accident – deserve the choice of an assisted, dignified death. People like the late brave campaigners Tony Nicklinson and Paul Lamb. It seems likely that the Bill on the Isle of Man would exclude many such cases by being limited to the terminally ill only.”

Vicky Christian, Chair of the My Death, My Decision Isle of Man Group, said:

“I welcome the report published by the Assisted Dying Committee. However, I’m very disappointed that if its recommendations are adopted, people suffering intolerably from incurable illnesses such as Huntingdon’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease or Motor Neurone Disease will not have access to an assisted death. This seems to me to be a cruel and inhumane omission, and one which I hope will be remedied by compassionate and empathetic Members of the House of Keys in the debates to follow.



Media should contact Nathan Stilwell at or phone 07456200033.

My Death, My Decision is a grassroots campaign group that wants the law in England and Wales to allow mentally competent adults who are terminally ill or intolerably suffering from an incurable condition the option of a legal, safe, and compassionate assisted death. With the support of over 3,000 members and supporters, we advocate for an evidence-based law that would balance individual choice alongside robust safeguards and finally give the people of England and Wales choice at the end of their lives.