‘Let teens make assisted suicide plans’ says MSP

Fri, 22 Mar 2013

Patients as young as 16 in Scotland would be able to tell their GP about their desire for assisted suicide, under controversial proposals from an MSP.

Margo MacDonald MSP has been criticised for a revised assisted suicide Bill which would enable people aged 16 and over to have their end-of-life wishes on record.

Councillor Jeremy Balfour of the Scottish Council of Bioethics raised serious concerns about the proposals.

Dignity

He said supporters of euthanasia are wrong to say those who are dying of a terminal illness lose their dignity.

He said: “If you do not understand inherent dignity and use that, I believe you not only open a tin of worms on this issue but also a lot of issues.”

Margo MacDonald, who has Parkinson’s Disease, was outlining her revised Bill at a conference in Glasgow.

Compel

She said the aim of this change is to make sure a patient is not compelled into committing suicide with assistance.

She added: “A record would be kept in a GP’s file that you have expressed a desire to be able to have assistance to end your life when if you find yourself in the position of being terminal or suffering from a degenerative condition.”

The MSP is expected to bring the Bill to the Scottish Parliament before the summer.

Suicide

Among those attending the conference was Dr Iain Kerr, a retired Scottish GP who recently admitted assisting the suicides of patients, including a woman who wasn’t ill.

He is now under investigation by the Police.

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