Scottish Parliament assisted dying group launched
A new Cross party group has launched at the Scottish Parliament that will promote assisted suicide.
The ‘Cross Party Group on End-of-Life Choices’ was approved by the Scottish Parliament’s Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee and welcomed by campaigners for euthanasia and assisted suicide.
The new group comes after MSPs twice rejected attempts to legalised assisted suicide in the last decade, with bills brought by the late Margo MacDonald in 2010 and Patrick Harvie in 2015 both being rejected at Holyrood.
SNP MSP George Adam, convenor of the new Cross Party Group, who supported the 2015 Assisted Suicide Scotland Bill said: “This is an incredible opportunity to have an open, frank discussion on the choices that we are faced with at the end of life. We want to speak openly and honestly to supporters and opponents of increased choice at the end of life and to face these difficulties head-on.”
The other members of the group are Jackson Carlaw of the Scottish Conservatives, Patrick Harvie and Ross Greer of the Scottish Green Party, Liam McArthur of the Scottish Liberal Democrats and Mary Fee of Scottish Labour. All of the members voted for the last attempt to legalise assisted suicide in 2015 except Ross Greer who was not in parliament at the time but has independently said he supports assisted suicide. The group is also supported by Friends at the End (FATE) and Dignity in Dying (DiD), both groups that campaign for the legalisation of assisted suicide.
A spokesman for pro-life group the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children Scotland said they hoped the MSPs would ‘examine the potential for coercion of vulnerable people in society’ at the end of life.
“Sadly the so called ‘right to die’ quickly becomes a duty to die, especially for those regarded as less valuable to society,” he said. “We are seeing a terrifying spread of this mentality in countries like Switzerland, the Netherlands and Belgium.”
This story ran in full in the February 17 edition print of the SCO, available in parishes.