Catholic Medical Quarterly Volume 72(1) February 2022

People of Jersey set to suffer as a result of assisted dying

Theresa Lynch RGN

T. LynchJersey has decided that assisted dying must be legalised there.

Despite the best intentions for the dying, it is inevitable that they will suffer rather than benefit from legalised assisted suicide as evidenced elsewhere. Considering that palliative care cannot meet all needs does not mean patients should be deprived of the excellent expertise on offer.

Assisted suicide is legal in Oregon. Last year, the following complications were reported, which have inevitable psychological consequences for all involved and need acknowledgement:

  • Over half of patients who underwent assisted suicide took more than three-quarters of an hour to die.
  • In some cases, death took more than four days.
  • The eight patients who reawakened after receiving their drugs did not repeat the experience [1].

Patients will be deprived of palliative care. Research from Canada reveals the negative impact that assisted suicide has had on palliative care treatment. In their 2020 qualitative study, Matthews et al., found that assisted dying had adversely affected palliative care [2]. Both the patients and the palliative care providers found this distressing [3].

Baroness Finlay reminded the Lords in her speech that the Meacher Bill does not focus on the need for bridging gaps in palliative care.

As well as that, there is evidence of hospice de-funding in Canada of some hospices wishing to maintain ethical standards to prohibit legalised assisted suicide. Baroness Finlay also reported troubling statistics in Belgium, where assisted suicide is legal and two-thirds of all dying people do not access specialist palliative care [4].

There is much for the people of Jersey to fear as a result of all this.

Teresa M Lynch RGN is founder of Pro-Life Nurses.


1. Mac Donald. G. (2021) “This Bill WON’T solve suffering nor improve care. ‘Our Duty of Care’. 12 November.


3.. Mathews, J .J.,Hausner, D., Avery J., Hannon, B., Zimmerman, C., al Awamer, A. (2020). Impact of Medical Assistance in Dying on palliative care: A qualitative study. Palliative Medicine. Sage Journals. 30 October.

4. Mac Donald. G. (2021) “This Bill WON’T solve suffering nor improve care. ‘Our Duty of Care’. 12 November.