MSP re-launches bid to change the law on assisted suicide

An Independent MSP has re-launched her controversial campaign to legalise assisted suicide in Scotland, even though her previous attempt was soundly defeated.

Margo MacDonald tried to pass legislation to legalise assisted suicide last year, but her Bill was comprehensively rejected by MSPs in December.

Now the Independent Lothian MSP has submitted a proposed consultation document for a simplified piece of legislation called the Assisted Suicide (Scotland) Bill.


Miss MacDonald’s previous attempt to change the law faced widespread criticism from medics, disability groups, politicians and faith groups.

Commenting on this new legislation Andrea Minichiello Williams, director of Christian Concern, said: “Margo MacDonald’s last bill to legalise voluntary euthanasia was clearly defeated less than a year ago.

“It’s important that MSPs and the Scottish public take a stand again against legislation which would threaten the vulnerable and ultimately be of great detriment to society.”


Speaking about her Bill Miss MacDonald said: “This is a much simplified Bill. We have learned lessons from last time. It is about the rights of people seeking this assistance, a right to ask not demand.”

Earlier this year a survey by a leading disability charity found widespread concern that any change to the law on assisted suicide would result in presure being put on disabled people to end their lives.

Scope’s survey revealed that 70 per cent of those with a disability felt that such a change would create pressure for disabled people to “end their lives prematurely”.

And more than a third expressed concern that they would personally experience such pressure.

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