Doctors group back assisted suicide law
A group of doctors is backing proposals to legalise assisted suicide in Scotland.
The practising and retired medics will lobby MSPs considering the change put forward by veteran politician Margo MacDonald who died in April.
It is the second attempt to pass an Assisted Suicide Bill at the Scottish Parliament.
The group, Doctors for Assisted Suicide (DAS), set out their views with Holyrood’s Health and Sport Committee.
Secretary Gillian MacDougall said: “We hope that the launch of DAS will encourage people in the medical professions across Scotland to get involved in this important debate for our profession.
“We strongly believe that patients should have the choice about when and how they die.
“Making assisted suicide legal gives doctors the opportunity to support patients to make that choice and thereby improves the care that we can offer.
“This choice should not be denied to the few people to whom it would give immense comfort.
“With the safeguards included in the Bill, it would make assisted suicide available whilst reducing any danger of inappropriate pressure being applied.
“We would urge those other doctors who do support this measure to get in touch through our website at www.doctorsforassistedsuicide.org.uk”
The committee’s consultation on the Bill closes on Friday.
The previous attempt to legalise the controversial practice failed in a free vote at Holyrood during the SNP’s first term in government.
Ms MacDonald, who sat as an independent MSP, made some changes to her proposal before trying again.
The Bill is now being steered through parliament by Green MSP Patrick Harvie.