Committee to examine clauses of Isle of Man assisted dying bill
Five members of the House of Keys are to examine the detail of proposed assisted dying laws on the Isle of Man.
MHKs voted in favour of forming a committee to scrutinise the private member’s bill and report back by the end of February.
The bill, which would give terminally-ill residents the right to die, passed its second reading last week.
Rob Callister said the body would provide “further scrutiny” to the 14 clauses, which was “really needed”.
He was appointed to the committee alongside the mover of the bill, Alex Allinson, and David Ashford, Michelle Haywood and Lawrie Hooper, who is the current health minister.
During last week’s debate of the bill, members raised concerns about safeguards, the risk of coercion, and eligibility for assisted dying.
Dr Allison had argued that a committee was not needed because there would be sufficient scrutiny during the usual process of the clauses stage of the bill.
A bid by Ms Heywood to have the clauses examined by a committee of the whole of the House of Keys was also rejected by members.
Mr Callister said the additional scrutiny by a smaller group would look at how the details would “work in practice” as some were “very technical and detailed”.
He said the work in asking those “really difficult and technical questions” could reduce the number of witnesses required to give evidence during the clauses stage of the bill, which is set to follow the committee’s report.
Mr Callister said the February deadline was realistic because it was “further scrutiny” of clauses within a debate that had already taken place.
The committee could address some of the questions that still needed to be answered, he added.