Activists prepare for third assault on Scotland’s assisted suicide protections

A pro-euthanasia activist group is pushing for another vote on assisted suicide in the Scottish Parliament next year.

Dignity in Dying – formerly known as the Voluntary Euthanasia Society – says it expects a fresh parliamentary vote after the Holyrood election in May 2021.

Two assisted suicide Bills have been defeated in the Scottish Parliament in the last decade.

Ideological killing

Dr Gordon Macdonald, CEO of the coalition Care Not Killing, told The Scotsman newspaper: “It is disappointing that ideological pro-killing campaigners continue to push this narrow and dangerous agenda during a global pandemic”.

He added: “Changing the law would remove universal protections and send out a message that the lives of the terminally ill and disabled people are less worthy of protection than others.

It is disappointing that ideological pro-killing campaigners continue to push this narrow and dangerous agenda during a global pandemicDr Gordon Macdonald

“In other countries that have legalised assisted suicide and euthanasia, the law has been extended to include other groups.”

Abuse

In its editorial, The Scotsman described legalising assisted suicide as “a most serious step” and warned of the “scope for abuse and the societal pressure it could place on vulnerable people”.

It also cautioned against possible abuses, saying: “there would almost certainly be people who, motivated by money or an unfeeling indifference towards those less fortunate than themselves, would act in ways that would profoundly shock us all”.

In a statement last year the Scottish Government said it “respects the will of the Scottish Parliament on assisted dying”. Holyrood voted against pro-assisted suicide legislation in 2010 and 2015.

SNP MP Dr Philippa Whitford spoke out powerfully against the practice in a debate at Westminster in 2015.

Also see:

‘In a civilised society every life has value’, says bioethicist

Vulnerable on ‘slippery slope’ to assisted suicide, warns former Cameron aide

Assisted suicide law ‘protects vulnerable from pressure to end their lives’

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