More than half of MSPs oppose assisted suicide: Survey

The majority of MSPs oppose assisted suicide, according to a recent survey.

It showed that 56 per cent of MSPs either “strongly oppose” or “somewhat oppose” any change to the law to allow physician-assisted suicide.

The survey was conducted by Dignity in Dying Scotland.


MSPs were asked whether they would support proposals to assist patients deemed to have less than six months to live to commit suicide.

The survey found that just 27 per cent of MSPs support legalising assisted suicide. The remaining 17 per cent did not know, would abstain from voting, or declined to answer.

When MSPs last voted on legalising assisted suicide in May 2015, the Bill was overwhelmingly rejected by 82 votes to 36.

In September of the same year, MPs in Westminster had voted not to legalise assisted suicide. The Bill was defeated by 330 votes to 118.

‘Shutting the door’

Last month, Dr Kevin Yuill, university lecturer and author of ‘Assisted Suicide: The Liberal, Humanist Case Against Legalization’, said that legalising assisted suicide “would be a foot in the door, which will be progressively prised open”.

Dr Yuill was writing in response to the legal challenges of two men seeking to change the law on assisted suicide.

He wrote: “The UK parliament was correct to shut the door on assisted suicide in 2015, and the courts are right to reject these cases and the challenges they are mounting to parliamentary sovereignty.”

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