Organisations campaigning in favour, such as Friends at The End SCIO, are optimistic of a “very real chance to have a significant expansion of our rights as individuals”, as popular support for assisted dying approaches 90% in Scotland, according to opinion polls.
Last September the British Medical Association adopted a neutral stance on the issue, paving the way for a better informed debate that includes the participation of professionals across the medical sector.
In the same month, Liam McArthur, MSP for Orkney, launched his proposal for a new Private Member’s Bill, which seeks to change the law on assisted dying for terminally ill adults in Scotland.
The proposal’s consultation period, which ended on December 22nd, has received an unprecedented number of responses for a Scottish Parliament consultation on a Member’s Bill.
The consultation detailed the proposals for a Bill seeking to legalise assisted dying as a choice for terminally ill, mentally competent adults in Scotland. The Scottish Parliament’s Non-Government Bills Unit (NGBU) is now working alongside Liam McArthur MSP to process all consultation responses.
Commenting, Mr McArthur said:
“When I launched the proposals earlier this year I said that how we die is an issue for our whole society and that the consultation was in effect a nationwide discussion on what we need to do to give dying people the help and support they need to have a good death. There is clearly an appetite for that discussion and I look forward to continuing it with the public and within the Parliament over the months ahead.”
To learn more about the proposal you can listen to episode one of our podcast below, where we have Liam McArthur The proposed Bill, which has been supported by a steering group of MSPs from each party represented in the Scottish Parliament, will now enter a period of analysis and debate, taking into account all of the responses submitted before moving onto the next stage.
Dr. Sorcha Hume, CEO of Friends at the End has noted that: “This is a fundamental step in redefining the way in which we approach the end of our lives: with compassion, dignity and the peace of mind that we do not have to needlessly go through intolerable suffering. That choice, many agree, would have a tremendously positive impact on their quality of life.”