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Holyrood assisted suicide bill delayed

Assisted Suicide
23 May 2022
Liam Mc Arthur

Assisted suicide proposals due to be lodged at the Scottish Parliament this year will now be introduced in early 2023, the MSP behind them has confirmed.

In an interview with the Sunday Herald, Liam McArthur noted the "unprecedented" response to a consultation on the plans as a reason for the new timetable.

Mr McArthur's 'Assisted Dying' Bill would allow terminally ill people in Scotland to access lethal drugs. It has been strongly criticised by medics, academics, disability campaigners and faith groups.

These groups believe it will lead to serious harms against the most vulnerable, undermine palliative care, and create an ever-widening law. They also stress that the process of assisted suicide itself is painful and undignified.

Speaking at the start of this year, after a call for views on the proposals closed, CARE for Scotland spokesman Stuart Weir commented:

"The huge response to this consultation underlines just how alarming and controversial Liam McArthur's proposals are in Scotland and more widely. Many people are deeply upset at the prospect of legislation that would see suicide normalised in healthcare, with all the resultant harms for patients, medics and wider society.

"Good societies treat suicide as a terrible act, to be mourned and prevented. We want to see a Scotland where hope and help are at the centre of our response to human suffering, not lethal drugs. And we want to see excellent end-of-life care for every person. When assisted suicide is legalised, this goal is undermined.

"We call on MSPs in every party to carefully review the evidence of assisted suicide's harms and reject this latest attempt to change the law, as parliament has done on more than one occasion in the past."

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Assisted Suicide

Where assisted suicide is legal, it makes vulnerable people feel like a burden. CARE works to uphold laws that protect those people, and to assist them to live—not to commit suicide.

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