MSPs to vote on assisted suicide next week

Picture: TSPL
Picture: TSPL
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Campaigners against assisted suicide are to hand in a 15,000 strong petition at Parliament opposing the plans with MSPs poised to vote on the measure next Wednesday.

Care Not Killing (CNK), the umbrella group spearheading the opposition, say assisted suicide is “unnecessary, unethical and uncontrollable”.

MSPs will vote on the proposals being brought forward by Green MSP Patrick Harvie next week which would mean people with terminal conditions could be given a deadly cocktail of drugs from their pharmacist to end their own lives.

The 15,380 names have been collected following the launch of the petition last October and will be collected by Holyrood Deputy Presidding Officer Elaine Smith tomorrow.

Dr Gordon Macdonald, spokesman for CNK, said: “We have been encouraged by the significant levels of support which the petition has attracted from the length and breadth of the country.

“It is clear that there is not an appetite in Scotland to change the law and make assisted suicide legal. And we hope that view is reflected in the way our MSPs cast their votes on a rare occasion when it is truly a matter of life and death

“We are firmly of the belief that any such legislative change would place pressure on vulnerable people to end their lives for fear of being a financial, emotional or care burden upon others. This would especially affect people who are disabled, elderly, sick or depressed.”

The new Bill follows a similar Bill brought forward by the late Margo MacDonald in 2010 which was overwhelmingly rejected.

The latest measures called for the creation of ‘licensed facilitators’ - aged as young as 16 - who would assist individuals end their life and would remain close by until such times as the individual has died or decided not to proceed with the assisted suicide. The facilitator would also be required to advise the police of the death.