Pro-assisted suicide activists have been criticised for seeking another vote on the issue in the next Scottish parliamentary term.
Dr Gordon Macdonald, CEO of the Care Not Killing coalition, described the move as ‘untimely, ill-informed and ideologically motivated’.
Two assisted suicide bills have already been defeated in the Scottish Parliament in the last ten years.
Dr Macdonald, speaking to The Scotsman, said: “Abandoning the protections provided by the law would be hugely controversial at a time when we have already seen the way elderly people have been let down during the Covid-19 pandemic and unprecedented pressure has been applied on health and social care”.
Macdonald explained that when assisted suicide has been legalised elsewhere, evidence shows it has had other negative consequences.
He added: “when MSPs from all parties look at these facts, they quickly realise there is nothing progressive about ripping up the current laws and they recognise the dangers that legalising assisted suicide and euthanasia would create”.
Dr Macdonald concluded that at a time when the NHS appears fragile, “to be pushing this ideological policy seems out of touch, dangerous and desperate”.
Bills previously defeated
In a statement made in 2019 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.
Despite attempts to introduce a motion on assisted suicide at the SNP annual conference two months ago, no debate took place.
SNP MP Dr Philippa Whitford spoke out powerfully against the practice in a debate at Westminster in 2015.