SNP Minister opposes Scots assisted suicide Bill as ‘unsafe for the disabled’

Liam McArthur’s assisted suicide Bill is ‘unsafe’ for disabled people and should not become law, Scotland’s Equalities Minister has said.

Canvassed for her views, the SNP’s Emma Roddick told The Herald on Sunday she would not be voting for the Liberal Democrat MSP’s Assisted Dying for Terminally Ill Adults Bill.

Last year, both Scotland’s First Minister and Health Secretary publicly restated their opposition to legalising assisted suicide.


Explaining her position, Roddick said: “I don’t see how this legislation can be safe while disabled people don’t have equality”.

In 2023, following a meeting with disability campaigners, Humza Yousaf said: “I feel even less persuaded” to back a change in the law.

And Cabinet Secretary for NHS Recovery, Health and Social Care, Michael Matheson, said that he does not believe “it’s society’s responsibility to make those decisions”.


Holyrood is expected to consider McArthur’s proposals, to remove end-of-life protections and allow vulnerable people to seek help from a doctor to kill themselves, in the coming months.

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

A majority of MSPs in both the Scottish Conservatives and Scottish Labour voted against the Bill, with MSPs from the Scottish Liberal Democrats and the SNP also rejecting the legislation.

Also see:

‘Unlike Dame Esther, I’m thankful assisted suicide is not legal in the UK’

Psychiatrist: ‘Canada must stop the runaway train of euthanasia expansion’

Majority of UK doctors would not facilitate assisted suicide

Canadian mother with stage four cancer pushed to consider euthanasia

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