Cross-Party MSPs Oppose Scottish Euthanasia Law
A group of politicians from across Scotland’s political spectrum have joined together to oppose efforts to legalise assisted suicide. In a letter to The Sunday Times, the 9 MSPs argued that “society should be preventing suicide, not assisting it”.
The latest development comes after a group of nine cross-party politicians including acting Scottish Tory leader Jackson Carlaw, former Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale and Scottish Green co-convener Patrick Harvie wrote to the newspaper last week to support a change in the law to allow assisted suicide.
In their letter opposing the idea, the politicians write: “Have we really become a society that says the best answer we can provide to those suffering in end-of-life situations is to help them kill themselves? Is that really all we can offer? That, to us, is the measure of a desperately cold, soulless society. We think that in Scotland today we are better than that.”
They add: “It has been said that legalising assisted suicide means the whole of society, and not only the person wanting to die, is accepting that a person has lost all value, worth and meaning in life.
“We believe that this would have a damaging effect on society, and dangerously undermine the legal protection established in the concept of equal and inherent human dignity.”
The signatories to the letter are Scottish Conservative MSPs Murdo Fraser, Jeremy Balfour, Donald Cameron and Gordon Lindhurst, SNP MSP John Mason, Labour MSPs Elaine Smith, Neil Bibby, and Mark Griffin and Liberal Democrat MSP Mike Rumbles.
Previous attempts to change the law on assisted dying in Scotland have failed.
Campaigners want the Scottish Parliament to legislate to allow assisted suicide for terminally ill, mentally competent adults. The campaign group Dignity in Dying Scotland published a poll this week suggesting that nearly nine in 10 people in Scotland support legalising assisted suicide.
The Scotsman. April 7.