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.”
committee which reported on the issue in November failed to support it.
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.”
Killing is a
UK-based alliance of disability and human rights organisations, healthcare and
palliative care groups, and faith-based organisations which promotes palliative
care and opposes assisted suicide and euthanasia. ~ BBC, Dec 1