Readers' Letters: Assisted Suicide Bill is the Trojan Horse for euthanasia in Scotland

I implore all Scottish MSPs to vote against Liam MacArthur’s Bill to introduce Assisted Suicide to Scotland.

Assisted Suicide is the Trojan Horse for euthanasia in Scottish society.

The similarities with Canada are quite striking. Canada passed a law in 2015 with much of the criteria determining whether a patient is eligible for assisted suicide being robust, coherent and strict, exactly the same as Liam MacArthur’s bill. However, fast forward to 2022 and Canada is now debating whether sick children between the ages of 14 and 17, should be allowed to choose to commit suicide with medical assistance.

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Parents of babies who are born with severe disabilities should be allowed to kill them (- nfanticide).

Liam McArthur signs a pledge card in support of his Assisted Dying Bill at the Scottish Parliament
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Elderly people for whom “life no longer makes any sense” should also be able to end theirs, and so should the mentally ill. Yet the Canadian Supreme court dismissed the "slippery slope’ argument as a “fallacy” in 2015

Do not allow this Pandora’s Box to be opened in Scottish society. Vote against Liam MacArthur’s Bill.

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John Smith, Bainsford, Falkirk

Toilet trouble

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The SRU proclaims that “ Inclusion and Diversity (of which gender balance is one of the measures) is a key driver within our Scottish Rugby strategy”. Yet the hundreds, if not thousands, of female fans who queued for well over 20 minutes to use the woefully inadequate stadium toilet facilities during Saturday’s autumn international match experienced a very different version of reality to this alleged strategic pillar, missing the start of the second half (and a try!) as they continued to wait in the darned queues.

There seems to be no visible willingness to recognise the problem from the stadium management team or evidenced appetite for improvement. One can only conclude that they are merely interested in the financials of the ticket and bar sales, as opposed to the quality of the spectator experience.

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Many of us have been supporters for decades, whilst many are new followers of the sport – but whoever, whenever, it doesn’t take a genius to observe that the spectator base is very visibly different to what it was 30 years ago when the stadium was built and it is high time that management’s actions, and consequently the provision of appropriate stadium facilities, reflected this changing fanbase

Lorraine Clinton, Motherwell, North Lanark shire

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NHS in danger

It is somewhat ironic to read that the BMA is warning against a two-tier health service (Scotsman, 22 November) when this trade union opposed the formation of the NHS in 1948 until such time as doctors and consultants were allowed to continue with private work. The NHS in England is way ahead of Scotland on increased privatisation and in 2021, for the first time since 1948, more orthopaedic activity, such as hip replacements, took place in private hospitals.

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Rishi Sunak is registered with a private GP practice that guarantees all patients with urgent health concerns will be seen “on the day”. As Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt oversaw years of historically low funding increases (around one per cent, compared with an average of six per cent in the years between 1997 and 2010, and compared with the 4.3 per cent recommended by the OBR and independent health bodies

In July Sir Keir Starmer said “there is some private provision in the NHS and we’re likely to have to continue with that” while Labour’s shadow Health Secretary, Wes Streeting, said “the next Labour government may have to use private sector capacity to bring down NHS waiting lists”.

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Earlier this month Health Foundation data showed that per head the UK spent £40 billion a year less on health than the EU average. This is the equivalent of £4bn a year less for Scotland’s much better performing NHS as part of the UK when, rather than years of recession, we could have the powers to match the economic growth of Denmark and Norway with the extra bonus of an even better health service. Why not Scotland?

Mary Thomas, Edinburgh

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Two tiers

Despite Nicola Sturgeon’ s assertion that the NHS in Scotland will remain free to all at the point of entry, there must be serious doubts about whether this will remain the case given that the issue of privatisation in some form has been discussed by NHS executives, presumably with government knowledge.

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In reality, a two-tier system is already taking shape with patients opting to go private to get life-saving treatment and freedom from intolerable pain rather than face a long wait for NHS treatment. This trend will no doubt continue as the government sits on its hands and does very little to remedy the situation in the hope that events will herald a “ de facto” two-tier system without the radical reform to the lumbering bureaucracy which is needed.

The Ferguson Marine debacle has proved how much the actions of government are shielded from the public’s gaze and this is likely to happen with the NHS until it’s too late.

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Bob MacDougall, Kippen, Stirling

Welcome reform

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At long last NHS reform is on the agenda. The NHS isn't working because, mainly, it is akin to being a socialist state within a free enterprise economy country.

When first it came into being it was designed to cure those of us who fell ill. Not now. Now it tries to do everything from cradle to grave, which is an entirely impossible task.

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It has essentially given us the impression that we cannot look after ourselves and so we call for medical assistance at the tiniest sign of ailment. Self-reliance has all but disappeared.

Also, the NHS should not be responsible for non-essential treatment such as IVF, nose and boob jobs, sex change work and other non-illness matters. If personally motivated medical attention is desirable then the private route is available.

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People are dying in hospital corridors whilst our medical staff are attending to cosmetic, vanity procedures. Time for change.

Stan Hogarth, Strathaven, South Lanarkshire

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Another fine mess

After Ecuador's win against the Wor ld Cup host nation, can we expect a docu-drama about the match? Perhaps called ‘The Qatarmess E xperiment’? Or will it turn out to be about the whole tournament?

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Steve Hayes, Leven, Fife

Fuel sanctions

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“More must be done” was Rishi Sunak’s COP27 verdict despite an agreement on recompensing developing countries. This was badly needed but fails to achieve the main targets of halting warming to over 1.5C as agreed in Paris through phasing out fossil fuels and achieving net zero CO2 emissions by 2050.

Nearly 60 per cent of world emissions come from just five countries, China, US, India, Russia and Japan. At current rates most emissions will come from China and India. Neither of these countries are at the forefront of climate talks, however, and while both expect to achieve an emissions peak by 2030 their track records are not good. The UK has reduced emissions by about half since 1990 levels, faster than any major developed country. While we need to do more it is arguably more important to work collectively to pressure leading emitters.

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Sanctions on Russia on the export of oil and gas, for example, are already estimated to contribute to a three per cent drop in CO2 emissions in Europe this year, according to the Centre of Economic & Political Research, rising to 5.5 per cent by 2030, with consequent health benefits. Carefully targeted sanctions on reducing fossil fuel production by the West on China and India, and high emitters per capita like Qatar, should be considered rapidly to get back on track.

A 2C increase in temperature looks inevitable but if we don’t act now climate change may prove irreversible. As Sunak says more does need to be done but Britain can’t act alone if it is to influence the largest emitters and avert a climate catastrophe.

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Neil Anderson, Edinburgh

Imports ban

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The EU has decided to ban Russian oil imports completely from the end of this year and diesel imports from the start of 2023.

At the moment Russia still supplies about 40 per cent of Europe’s diesel needs. The EU wants to damage Russia, but they are also damaging commerce and industry across the continent. Already there is a tanker shortage at sea, because tankers have to load in Asia and the USA, travel further, and because many are being used as floating storage in the expectation that the shortage in supply will cause prices to soar.

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Diesel fuel is essential to transport goods, quarry minerals, plough the land, and act as a back-up fuel in the event of power outages, for example in hospital back-up generators. Already prices are nearing record highs and will go further when the ban kicks in. In the worst case there will be shortages and rationing may be necessary.

Is it not time serious moves were made to bring a ceasefire to the Ukraine war and try to negotiate a settlement instead of allowing the killing and destruction to continue for years, contributing to a global slump?

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William Loneskie, Lauder, Scottish Borders

Rangers’ woes

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With regard to the sacking of manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Rangers are always going to have issues when all that current players are interested in is picking up their monthly salary. Unlike Rangers players of the past, many of the current lot won’t even know the history of the club.

Past players like John Greig and Willie Henderson would have died for the jersey, unlike the present squad, and it has shown on the field with poor performances.

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Ji m R eilly, Hawick, Scottish Borders

Write to The Scotsman

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