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JULY 2015



Scottish Parliament Rejects Assisted Suicide Bill

On 27 May 2015 The Scottish Parliament held its Stage 1 debate on the Assisted Suicide (Scotland) Bill.  The Bill had been presented by the late Margo Macdonald MSP but was taken over after her death by Patrick Harvie MSP.  Stage 1 is the point where MSPs debate the principles of the bill.  They did so on 27 May in the light of a report by the Health and Sport Committee, which had examined the Bill but did not believe that the case for changing the law had been made and considered that the Bill itself contained significant flaws.  82 MSPs voted to reject the Bill, 36 to allow it to proceed.  

After the vote, Dr Gordon Macdonald, convenor of Care Not Killing (CNK) in Scotland, said: “In every free democratic society there are limits placed on human freedom in order to protect the common good and vulnerable people. It is right that the law is not to be changed to accommodate the wishes of a small number of desperate and determined people at the expense of the rights of others.

“Vulnerable people who are sick, elderly or disabled can so easily feel pressure, whether real or imagined, to end their lives so as not to be a burden on others. Parliament's first responsibility is to protect the vulnerable and that is what has happened.

“The work of CNK will continue in time to come as we emphasise the importance of palliative care - because the pro-euthanasia lobby is not going to give up.

“That is why we must remain ever vigilant and on alert to challenge and debunk their dark and deathly propaganda which offers a vision of the future which has no place in Scottish civilised society.” @