Fresh calls for assisted suicide to be introduced in Scotland

A disability charity has called on politicians to promote life, rather than death, as the Scottish Parliament once again considers assisted suicide.

Last week, activists called for the practice to be introduced – despite the Assisted Suicide (Scotland) Bill being heavily rejected just three years ago.

Liberal Democrat health spokesman Alex Cole-Hamilton claims MSPs now feel differently.

‘Right to life’

Bill Scott, of Inclusion Scotland, the national disabled people’s organisation, told MSPs that previous attempts to change the law would have included people with non-terminal conditions and those living in pain.

“I would much rather this parliament talk about how we uphold the right to life”, he said.

And Anthony Horan, Director of the Roman Catholic Parliamentary Office, highlighted overseas reports of people being euthanised for alcohol addiction.

I would much rather this parliament talk about how we uphold the right to life

Bill Scott, Inclusion Scotland

Horan also pointed out that people could be pressured into ending their lives for fear of being a burden if assisted suicide was allowed in Scotland.

‘Radical change’

In a letter to The Scotsman, Dr Alan Rodger described assisted suicide as a “radical change in medical ethics and practice”.

Dr Rodger also pointed out that “it is impossible to accurately determine that someone with an incurable illness has less than six months to live”, in a reference to previous proposals.

The Lib Dems’ Cole-Hamilton called for a “refreshed inquiry with a view to bringing forward cross-party sponsored legislation”.


During both 2010 and 2015, MSPs considered legislation put forward by the late Margo MacDonald.

In the most recent vote, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson were among the 82 MSPs who rejected the introduction of assisted suicide, with 36 in support.

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