dominoes with national flags falling over, with syringe hovering over them

Assisted suicide is start of a slippery slope, CARE for Scotland warns

CARE for Scotland has warned that legalising assisted suicide would be the start of a slippery slope, with unintended and damaging consequences for society.

In an article in The Scotsman, Dr Gordon Macdonald says that the evidence from other countries where assisted suicide is legal highlights the dangers of going down this path.

Good reasons to resist latest pressure

The warning comes after a new campaign has been launched in Scotland, funded by London-based group Dignity in Dying. They are saying that if they can change the law in Scotland, it will put pressure on the rest of the UK to follow suit.

Dr Macdonald, however, points out that there are good reasons for MSPs to resist this latest attempt. The last time MSPs voted on assisted suicide was in 2015, where a Bill was rejected by 82-36.

Assisted suicide would undermine caring heritage

According to Dr Macdonald, Scotland has a “long and proud history as being a compassionate, caring society where we look after each other. Assisted suicide would undermine this heritage in a radical and unalterable way.”

Instead of encouraging suicide, we should be “helping people to see that they are valuable and of worth to family, friends and society, even in old age or when experiencing ill-health.”

Slippery slope in other countries

Countries where euthanasia and assisted suicide have been legalised offer a timely warning to any nation flirting with the idea of going down the same path: “in countries where assisted suicide and euthanasia have been legalised, there is evidence of a slippery slope in terms of the numbers of those committing suicide and conditions which qualify you for assisted suicide. Consistently we see the number of deaths rising year on year.” For example, there are proposals in some countries to extend laws to include elderly people who are just tired of life and suggestions that elderly people over a certain age should not get significant medical assistance if they are unwell.

He concludes by saying: “it is not good enough to talk about safeguards when the evidence suggests there is no way assisted suicide legislation could ever be made fully safe from abuse. Is this really the sort of society in which we want to live? In Scotland our Christian tradition has left a legacy of concern for the most vulnerable and a sense of responsibility to look after those unable to care for themselves.”

Read more

Read the full piece from CARE for Scotland here.

What are the main arguments against assisted suicide? Find them here.

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