Video Backs Assisted Suicide Plans

7 January 2015, 08:32

Campaigners who back plans to legalise assisted suicide have produced a video aimed at tackling "misconceptions and misunderstandings'' around proposed legislation.

Holyrood's Health Committee will begin taking evidence on the Assisted Suicide Bill next week.

The legislation would allow those with terminal or life-shortening illnesses to obtain help in ending their suffering.

The video, produced by the My Life, My Death, My Choice campaign, outlines who will be eligible for assisted suicide, the safeguards which would be put in place and the processes involved.

Campaign spokesman Bob Scott said: "Our discussions with MSPs recently have indicated that some are not fully aware of the measures included in the Bill.

"In particular, some have expressed concern that what is being proposed is euthanasia. We want to make clear that this is not the case and that what is being proposed is very different.

"We also want to make clear that the Bill only applies to those with a terminal or life-shortening conditions and that it is only those who choose to use the provisions of the Bill who will be eligible.''

The film also features contributions from Rev Scott McKenna, a Church of Scotland minister, criminal advocate Niall McClusky and Tim McGuire of the Humanist Society Scotland.

Mr Scott added: "We know that a significant majority of the Scottish electorate, 69% according to a poll we conducted last year, support the Bill and that over 70% of responses to the Health and Sport Committee consultation were also supportive.

"It is time for the politicians to catch-up with public opinion and pass this legislation as quickly as possible.''

Those opposed to legalising assisted suicide say it would put pressure on vulnerable people to end their lives for fear of being a financial, emotional or care burden upon others.

The Bill was brought forward by former MSP Margo MacDonald, who died in April last year after suffering with Parkinson's disease.

It is the second attempt to pass such a Bill at the Scottish Parliament, the first having been voted down by MSPs in 2010.