Assisted Dying Bill

Thank you for emailing in about Liam MacArthur’s Assisted Dying bill. As you’ll probably know, past parliamentary votes on assisted dying have been free votes and any future votes would likely be the same, giving MSPs the freedom to choose how they vote without following a Party line.

I sat on a previous Health Committee considering similar legislation and had the opportunity to scrutinise all the arguments. I voted against previous Bills and, while I will listen to the arguments again, I have not heard anything that has changed my mind. It became clear to me that what was required was a right to palliative care, something sadly missing in Scotland today. I have also continued to work on ensuring that everyone has a right to die at home with appropriate palliative care.

At the start of the pandemic it became very clear to me that very different values were placed on lives. Disabled people and older people were being actively persuaded to sign “Do Not Resuscitate” forms and there was a general understanding that they would not be admitted to hospital for life saving care if they contracted Covid-19. Therefore, as a society I do not believe we have the underlying values that would protect the most vulnerable if such legislation were enacted.

Thank you again for emailing.  Please get in touch with my office should you have any further questions.