MSP to try again with assisted suicide bill

Margo MacDonald says she wants to launch a fresh attempt to change the law in Scotland to make assisted suicide legal, despite her failed bid just last year.

A free vote in the Scottish Parliament in December saw the Independent MSP’s End of Life Assistance (Scotland) Bill fall to a comprehensive 85-16 defeat.

Now the re-elected MSP is claiming she has a mandate to try again.


Criticising Mrs MacDonald’s comments, Peter Kearney, speaking for the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, said: “The fact that the Scottish Parliament last year rejected the Assisted Suicide Bill was widely accepted as representing the settled will of the Scottish people.”

He added: “It’s difficult to imagine that public opinion could have shifted in such a short period of time. The vote showed Scottish public opinion is not in favour of euthanasia.”

Mrs Macdonald, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, says she wants to see “a change in Scots law to unambiguously allow for a patient to seek and be given medical assistance to end their life before nature decrees”.


She says her “campaign will benefit from my being elected with a clearly stated intention of trying to re-introduce a Bill”.

The MSP also claimed that opposition to the Bill last year came mainly from “individuals and groups whose objections were, in the main, faith based”.

However the influential Care Not Killing Alliance, which opposed the Bill, says it appeals to those from all faiths and none.

The Alliance includes bioethicists, medical groups and disability groups, as well as faith-based organisations.


In June last year it was revealed that over 14,000 people had signed a Care Not Killing petition against the Bill.

And in April 2010, 16 palliative care specialists attacked the Bill in an open letter to The Times newspaper.

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