Assisted Suicide (Scotland) Bill
MSPs are set to face another vote on euthanasia in the Scottish Parliament with the latest Assisted Suicide (Scotland) Bill. The bill was put forward on 14 November ’13 by Independent Lothians MSP Margo MacDonald, who championed the very similar End of Life Assistance Bill that was defeated in a free vote in the Parliament in December 2010 by 85 votes to 16.
The legislation put forward in the bill is similar to that of the previous bill and is based on a system operating in the US state of Oregon. It calls for an act of the Scottish Parliament to make it legal, in certain circumstances, to assist another to commit suicide. The bill is aimed at people living with “terminal or life-shortening illnesses or progressive conditions which are terminal or life-shortening and who wish to end their own lives to obtain assistance in doing so” provided they are aged 16 and over and that the act is carried out within a 14 day period of the initial recorded request. The Bill has been roundly condemned by SPUC Scotland and partner organisations in the Care Not Killing coalition in Scotland who will be working together to help defeat the bill and protect those who would be vulnerable to such legislation if it were passed.
Dr Gordon Macdonald, Convenor of Care Not Killing Scotland described the bill as, “unnecessary, unethical and dangerous.”
“Experience from Oregon, Belgium and the Netherlands shows that there can be no safe system for legalising assisted suicide or euthanasia. Margo seems to think that by resurrecting her proposal she will be able to convince people to support it this time. However, the arguments remain the same and dangers of practice elsewhere are well known. Margo should move on to another issue and accept the settled will of Parliament. It is not a priority for the Scottish people and the Scottish Parliament has made its view clear. Her personal interest in this matter should not be allowed to dictate to the rest of Scotland.”
HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED?
h3>WRITE TO MSPs
Write to your MSPs and get their views on the bill.
To find details for your local MSP click here.
You do not need to be registered to vote to contact your MSP, who represents everyone in his or her constituency.
Please note that SPUC recommends lobbying parliamentarians by post rather than via the internet/by email, because parliamentarians are more likely to read, take seriously and reply to postal letters. Please write messages in your own words, and keep them brief and courteous.
Please let SPUC Scotland know their answers by contacting the office on 0141 221 2094 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
GET FAMILIAR WITH THE BILL
We will be producing an an in-depth analysis of the bill shortly. This will be available on this website. If you would like us to let you know when we make it available or for any other information on the bill click here to contact us.
In the meantime, to access the bill click here.
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