Thursday, December 2, 2010

Assisted suicide fails in Scotland

Assisted suicide fails in Scotland’s parliament
by Michael Cook | 2 Dec 2010 |

Scotland’s Parliament has overwhelmingly defeated a bill which would have legalised assisted suicide for the terminally ill. The final result was 85 votes to 16 with two abstentions.

MSPs were allowed to vote according to their conscientious convictions, not on party lines.

However, Scottish Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said that the government did not support the bill. Furthermore, she added, "I personally find myself particularly concerned and fundamentally concerned about the difficulty I think would always and inevitably be present in determining that someone choosing to end their life had not been subjected to undue influence."

A parliamentary committee which reported on the issue in November failed to support it.

The Independent parliamentarian who sponsored the bill, Margo MacDonald, who has Parkinson’s disease, blamed the lobby group Care Not Killing for the defeat. Waving a piece of paper in the debate, she said: "I'll cut to the chase and condemn as unworthy and cheap, the contribution made by the publishers and authors of this catalogue of linguistic contortions, headed 'Care not Killing'. This postcard was distributed through churches and caused alarm among frail, elderly and disabled people."

Care Not Killing is a UK-based alliance of disability and human rights organisations, healthcare and palliative care groups, and faith-based organizations which promotes palliative care and opposes assisted suicide and euthanasia.

Retrieved December 2, 2010 from

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