Churches Alive in Mann

Uniting Christians across the Isle of Man

  • c/o St John's Mill
  • Mill Road
  • St John's
  • Isle of Man
  • IM4 3AF

01624 802900
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Press Release -
Consultation Report bias

Assisted Dying consultation report is dangerously biased.

Churches Alive in Mann are concerned that the recent assisted dying consultation report is biased. As seen in the attached image, slightly over half of the consultation responses were from people who are opposed to the introduction of assisted suicide legislation on the Island. Despite this, the report includes significantly more views in favour of assisted dying than against. The bias stands out even more obviously in the lengthy quotes from organisations and off-island experts. By a margin of 10 to 1, the quotes were all in favour of assisted dying legislation. We think it’s unfortunate that the report does not reflect the opinions in the consultation.

Report bias charts

For something less important, a skewed report might not matter too much – but this is a life and death issue. The report’s bias is alarming given that a proportion of vulnerable or elderly people are known to suffer every day from physical, emotional or financial abuse; the changes advocated in the report could result in coercion that would be, at times, impossible to spot.

Even among people not subjected to abuse, the existence of the proposed law would end up leading some people to conclude, not only that they could, but that they should end their lives to relieve burden on others. Evidence from Oregon and elsewhere shows this to be a well-documented trend. We would be deeply troubled if the misleading nature of the consultation report encouraged our Island down such a damaging path.

The report’s bias could also lead us into great danger concerning suicide. In our caring Manx society, many people work hard to help suicidal people find reasons to go on living. The assisted dying legislation advocated in the report would undermine this good work and send a very damaging message to depressed and suicidal people.

For these reasons, we feel we must highlight the distorted content in the consultation report. There is simply too much at stake for vulnerable people. Speaking on behalf of Churches Alive in Mann, Revd Bill Leishman said:

“While we recognise the sincere motives of all who want to bring in assisted suicide legislation, we’re extremely concerned that this report gives the Manx public an inaccurate picture, leading to very damaging conclusions.”

Churches Alive in Mann represents all the main Christian denominations on the Island – Church of England, Methodist, Roman Catholic, Living Hope, Elim, Salvation Army, URC, Baptist. These denominations are united in their opposition to the proposed Assisted Dying Bill.