Scotland on Sunday readers' letters: To deny dying people's right to choice is inexcusable

Most recent polling suggests the vast majority of Scots support change to the laws on assisted dying.

Liam McArthur MSP has put forward the new assisted dying bill in the Scottish Parliament.
Liam McArthur MSP has put forward the new assisted dying bill in the Scottish Parliament.

Many, like me, have witnessed the traumatic and torturous deaths of their terminally ill loved ones, despite every palliative intervention possible and denied their choice of assisted dying, wholly against their informed and verified wishes.

Those loved ones endured the fear and anguish of their choice denied, which marred the end of their lives in addition to their suffering in death from their illness.

The minority opposed are loud in their opposition, however they argue against protection of choice.

Those who would never choose an assisted death (for religious reasons or otherwise) should have that decision safeguarded. However, their choice should not dictate mine or anyone else's.

I live with disabilities (thankfully currently not life threatening). Those opposed often claim to speak for those with disabilities, they frequently do not.

The proposals are for safeguarded choice when nearing death of terminally ill, mentally competent adults only, in addition to all palliative care possible, not instead of it. The safeguarded choice of dying people, is choice in ending death, not ending life.

Many jurisdictions in America, New Zealand and Australia have introduced similar laws without extension.

Excuses of inevitable extension are mispresentative scaremongering. Of course the safeguards of Liam MacArthur's proposed bill are required. But to use those requirements as an excuse to continue to deny dying people's rights to choice is inexcusable, lazy and abusive law-making.

Caroline Brocklehurst, Giffnock

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Balanced view

Having watched both my parents die from cancer, I feel informed and able to have a balanced view on Assisted Dying here in Scotland. Sometimes it is not the terminal diagnosis that is most fearful, after final acceptance, the fear can come from the unknown. How will I die? Who will be with me? Will it be painful?Liam MacArthur’s Assisted Dying Bill gives us the opportunity to help mentally competent, terminally ill adults with those awful questions. Questions that our loved ones or we may one day have to face.A safeguarded, assisted dying law will provide much needed choice to those people who need our compassion and care the most.I have been moved watching and listening to family members who have had a loved one use such a bill at the end of their lives in jurisdictions like Oregon, California, Australia, and New Zealand and it gives me hope that although my parents did not have that option and suffered at the end of their lives, many Scottish people in the future may not need to suffer the way that they did.Lesley Cullan, Fochabers, Moray

A kind of magic

Yet again Nicola Sturgeon makes a grandstanding announcement in (cue fanfare of trumpets) - making £20 anti-poverty payment.

“This is without doubt the boldest and most ambitious anti-poverty measure anywhere in the UK,” before adding the caveat – “it will involve hard choices elsewhere in our budget”.

So, there you have it, say goodbye to your free cardboard box, it’s either robbing Peter to pay Paul, or give the magic money tree a wee shake.

Allan Thompson, Bearsden, Glasgow

Write to Scotland on Sunday

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