Isle of Man assisted dying bill passes second reading

An Assisted Dying Bill in the Isle of Man has passed its second reading in parliament, a key stage of a bill’s passage into legislation. Humanists UK welcomes this important step and hopes that the Isle of Man will be the first part of the British Isles to legalise assisted dying.

The Bill would give terminally ill people on the Isle of Man the choice to end their own life. Now that the Bill has passed the second reading, it will enter the clause stage where individual elements of the bill can be scrutinised and voted on. This could be done by a committee of five members, or a committee of the entire House of Keys, the Isle of Man’s lower chamber. A committee of the entire house proved effective in the creation of the island’s abortion bill.

Before the third stage of the bill, Humanists UK hopes to see the eligibility criteria changed to include individuals who are incurably and intolerably suffering.

Nathan Stilwell, Humanist UK’s assisted dying campaigner, spoke to Members of the House of Keys and Legislative Council last week, making the case for them to adopt the most forward-thinking and compassionate law possible, similar to how the Isle of Man voted to introduce the most liberal abortion regime in the British Isles in 2018.

Humanists UK Assisted Dying Campaigner Nathan Stilwell said:

‘We are delighted that the Isle of Man’s Assisted Dying Bill has passed its second reading. The Isle of Man has moved past other parts of the British Isles to show that a compassionate, evidence-based approach is possible.

‘However, it’s important that the incurably, intolerably suffering, not just the terminally ill, are included in any assisted dying legislation. People with neurological conditions like MND and Huntington’s deserve the right to choose to end their suffering on their terms, and if legislation is only limited to people who have six months left to live, this choice could be denied to them.’


The Isle of Man is a British crown dependency located between the islands of Great Britain and Ireland, west of the Lake District. Its parliament, the Tynwald, is the world’s oldest continually operating parliament. It is not part of the UK, although the UK is responsible for its defence and international representation. Manx citizens are British citizens.

For further comment or information, media should contact Humanists UK Assisted Dying Campaigner Nathan Stilwell at or phone 07456 200033.

If you have been affected by the current assisted dying legislation, and want to use your story to support a change in the law, please email

Read six reasons we need an assisted dying law.

Read more about a decade of campaigning for the legal right to die – at home and abroad.

Read the ONS study on suicides among people diagnosed with severe health conditions.

Read more about our campaign to legalise assisted dying in the UK.

Humanists UK is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people. Powered by 110,000 members and supporters, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. We provide ceremonies, pastoral care, education, and support services benefitting over a million people every year and our campaigns advance humanist thinking on ethical issues, human rights, and equal treatment for all.