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Assisted Suicide Bill should be withdrawn

Assisted Suicide
16 February 2015
Older care v

PRESS RELEASE: Patrick Harvie MSP should withdraw his Assisted Suicide Bill because of its obvious and glaring deficiencies leading public affairs charity CARE for Scotland has said.

The call comes ahead of the Green MSP giving evidence to the Health and Sport Committee on Tuesday February 17.

CARE for Scotland, who has campaigned against assisted suicide for decades, said the Bill is so poorly written and constructed it should not go any further.

When the Health and Sport Committee began taking oral evidence leading lawyers said the Bill does not provide adequate clarity in providing a clear definition of what actually constitutes assisted suicide.

Over subsequent weeks medical experts, ethicists, and religious groups have repeatedly criticised the Bill for a whole variety of reasons.

Chief among them are the blatant lack of safeguards as well as the fundamental change the legislation would make to crucial patient doctor relationships.

CARE for Scotland Parliamentary Officer Dr Gordon Macdonald said:

“What we’ve witnessed over the last few weeks is repeated and sustained criticism of this Bill from a whole variety of sources and for a range of reasons because it is so badly drafted.

“We’re not talking about one or two voices, we’re talking about leading experts in medicine and palliative care, top lawyers and experienced ethicists all expressing serious and genuine concerns.

“The fact of the matter is that this is a poorly written, badly constructed Bill and the sheer numbers of people who have criticised whole parts of it, quite aside from any moral or ethical objections, only highlight the problems with the legislation.

“Noticeably even some of the witnesses who publically support a change in the law have stressed they cannot support this particular Bill.

“It is also impossible to ignore the strong moral arguments against allowing vulnerable people to end their own lives and CARE for Scotland maintains it is always better to care, rather than to kill.

“Rather than proceeding any further, we urge that the Bill simply be withdrawn.”

Notes to Editors:

For more information or for any interview requests, please contact CARE’s media officer James Mildred on 0207 227 4731 / james.mildred@care.org.uk

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