Isle of Man’s Assisted Dying Bill closer to becoming law

The Isle of Man moved one step closer to a compassionate assisted dying law today, as Dr Alex Allinson’s Assisted Dying Bill passed the clauses stage. My Death, My Decision welcomes this historic move but is disappointed that the Bill won’t give the incurably suffering, who are not necessarily terminally ill, this end-of-life choice.

The House of Keys, the lower house of Tynwald, Isle of Man’s parliament, made several amendments to the Bill published in May.

  • People who have been given 12 months left to live by a doctor will be eligible, rather than six months 
  • Patients must be a resident of the Isle of Man for a minimum of five years, rather than one year. 
  • Attempts to severely limit access for eligible patients and to remove the choice from healthcare entirely were defeated. 
  • Doctors will not be allowed to administer assisted dying, patients will have to take medication themselves.

There were also several delaying tactics by clear opponents of the Bill. There was a vote to postpone the debate until November, for no apparent reason, 14 votes to 9.

Opponents also produced a last-minute amendment to require a referendum on assisted dying, voted down by 12 to 11. If opponents were sincere about a referendum being required, the motion could have been introduced or even suggested two years ago, when Dr Alex sought leave to introduce the assisted dying bill. 

The debate’s earlier session heard an emotional plea against the referendum amendment from Sue Biggerstaff whose late husband Simon suffered a horrific death from motor neurone disease (MND). Simon’s life, as he endured paralysis from the neck down within just two months of his diagnosis, ended in avoidable pain and suffering. 

Mrs Biggerstaff told politicians: “There was a total loss of dignity. He couldn’t speak properly, couldn’t do anything… There were so many horrible, horrible things happening to him. Nobody should have to live through it. It’s just awful. Awful.”

The Bill will soon have its third reading, before moving onto the Legislative Council, the Isle of Man’s upper chamber, for further debate. It could then receive Royal Assent in 2025, followed by consideration of how the law will be implemented. Assisted dying could potentially be available to terminally ill people from 2027.

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

“Today we have seen historic developments as the Isle of Man moves toward a compassionate option for people at the end of their life. We’ve also seen the unfortunate side of politics, with attempts to delay, confuse and distract. Politicians on the Isle of Man should be commended for seeing through this, and supporting the continued progress of Dr Alex Allinson’s Bill – reflecting the overwhelming public support.

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. A more compassionate approach to the assisted dying debate is possible”


Media should contact Nathan Stilwell at or phone 07456200033.

Media can use the following press images and videos, as long as they are attributed to “My Death, My Decision”.

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.