Consultation on controversial assisted dying plans for Scotland closes after 'unprecedented' response

A public consultation on controversial plans to legalise assisted dying in Scotland has closed following an "unprecedented" response.

Liberal Democrat MSP Liam McArthur wants to introduce new legislation that would permit assisted dying for adults who are both terminally ill and mentally competent.

It is the third attempt to pass such a law in Scotland and has met with fierce resistance from campaigners and some medical professionals.

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Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP Liam McArthur. Picture: Toby Williams

The consultation, which closed yesterday, suggested safeguards including requiring two doctors to confirm a person is terminally ill and mentally competent.

Mr McArthur said: "I am grateful to everyone who took the time to submit their views on my proposals for ending the blanket ban on assisted dying in Scotland.

"I am especially grateful to all those who recounted deeply personal and often harrowing experiences, which cannot have been easy to recall.

"The level of response has been unprecedented and shows that assisted dying is an issue that matters to people across the country.

"While it will take some time to validate and process responses, it appears there is strong support for a change in the law and a desire to see the Scottish Parliament take action.

"A range of views have been expressed in the responses with a number of suggestions made.

"These will all now be considered carefully and I intend to publish all responses where I have permission to do so.

"A summary of the responses will be prepared and published, and I will then seek the support required from other MSPs to introduce a Bill in the Parliament.

"It is especially important that we get this legislation right in terms of both compassion and safety and the public consultation was the first stage in this process.

"When I launched the proposals earlier this year, I said that how we die is an issue for our whole society and that the consultation was in effect a nationwide discussion on what we need to do to give dying people the help and support they need to have a good death.

"There is clearly an appetite for that discussion and I look forward to continuing it with the public and within the Parliament over the months ahead."

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