1000s of Scots lodge opposition to assisted suicide

Patrick Harvie, pictured here with the late Margo MacDonald, is backing assisted suicide legislation. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Patrick Harvie, pictured here with the late Margo MacDonald, is backing assisted suicide legislation. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

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More than 10,000 people have now signed a petition opposing proposals to introduce state assisted suicide in Scotland.

The Care Not Killing (CNK) umbrella group which is spearheading the campaign against the controversial legislation says opposition is “growing every day.”

The change will allow Scots who are dying and find their quality of life “unacceptable” to request a lethal cocktail of drugs from a pharmacist to end their own lives.

CNK has called on their supporters to make their views known to their MSPs who will vote on the Assisted Suicide (Scotland) Bill in the coming months.

Dr Gordon Macdonald of the campaign said: “We are delighted with the support we are receiving. The numbers signing our petition are growing every day as more people become aware of the details in the proposed legislation.

“As it stands, ‘licensed facilitators’ - those as young as 16 - who would be approved by the law to help individuals - also as young as 16 - to take their own lives.”

MSPs have been taking evidence on the Bill which is being taken forward by Green MSP Patrick Harvie after initially being introduced by the late Margo MacDonald.

Mr Harvie says the public mood is behind the change and Scots don’t want to see people prosecuted for helping a terminally ill person end their suffering.

A poll recently published by campaign group My Life, My Death, My Choice found that 28 per cent of people would be more likely to vote for their MSP if they back the bill, with 8 per cent less likely.

But Dr MacDonald added: “In recent weeks as the Bill has been scrutinised we have witnessed repeated and sustained criticism from a variety of sources and for a range of reasons because it is so badly drafted - leading experts in medicine and palliative care, top lawyers and experienced ethicists all expressing serious and genuine concerns.

“This is a poorly written, badly constructed Bill and the sheer numbers of people who have criticised whole parts of it, quite aside from any moral or ethical objections, only highlight the problems with the legislation.”

Holyrood’s health committee will publish a report on the plans next month before MSPs vote on whether to approve the change or reject it.

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