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Falkland Islands become first overseas British territory to vote in support of assisted dying

Sunday, August 26, 2018

The Daily Mirror in London (Amy-Clare Martin): reported:

The Falkland Islands has become the first overseas British territory to vote in support of assisted dying. Politicians passed a motion that terminally ill residents should have the right to end their life, subject to proper safeguards. The islands’ Legislative Assembly also voted to consider changing laws if the UK first did the same. Both motions passed by a majority of four votes to three, with one abstention. Although laws are not changing on the South Atlantic islands, campaigners hope the show of support will lead the way for other areas. The assembly chair will write to the UK Prime Minister to say if the UK enacts legislation allowing people to end their lives legally, the Falkland Islands would consider following suit. The news follows a shock defeat on a bill legalising assisted dying in Guernsey. Proposals were rejected by 24 votes to 16 after three days of debate on the Channel island in May. However pro-assisted dying campaigners say the vote acted as ‘driving force for change’ - inspiring motions in the Falklands and ramping up debate in Jersey. Sarah Wootton, chief executive of Dignity in Dying, London, said: “The Falkland Islands have today been shown to be a compassionate, sensible and progressive society which cares deeply about its terminally ill citizens and rightly feels that they deserve better.”

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