MSP: Scot assisted suicide Bill ‘a danger’ to the disabled

Holyrood’s first full-time wheelchair using MSP has warned that weakening end of life protections is “a danger” to disabled people.

Pam Duncan-Glancy, Labour MSP for Glasgow, said the definition of the term ‘terminally ill’ in Liam McArthur’s assisted suicide proposal was at risk of being exploited.

McArthur’s plan – supported by pro-assisted suicide groups – has already sparked fierce opposition from politicians, medical experts, commentators and religious groups.

No safeguards

Duncan-Glancy told BBC Scotland’s Debate Night: “You start to question what’s terminally ill.

“How long do you need to be terminally ill? How terminal does it need to be to be ill?”

She added: “You’re looking at a backdrop of a situation in society where disabled people are so far from any kind of equality whatsoever, that there is no safeguard I believe that can be put in any Bill.”

Defeated

Two assisted suicide Bills have been defeated in the Scottish Parliament since 2010. Most recently, in 2015, MSPs rejected Patrick Harvie’s Assisted Suicide (Scotland) Bill by 82 votes to 36.

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

Also see:

Person in a wheelchair

‘Brutal proposals’ could see Scots approved for assisted suicide via Zoom

Scots assisted suicide Bill ‘rationalises death of vulnerable’

Palliative care doctors unite against move to remove end-of-life protections

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