Scottish Parliament to debate assisted suicide

Margo MacDonald

A Scottish MP has introduced a bill for assisted suicide. Margo MacDonald, a campaigner for euthanasia who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, claims that her End of Life Choices Bill would allow Scots who wanted to end their lives to die at home, rather than travel to a suicide clinic in Switzerland. "Dying is part of living, it's the last act of your life, and if we accept the responsibility of how we live our lives, then I really fail to see where there is any demarcation of how we should die," she told Parliament.

Ms MacDonald says that her bill has a number of safeguards to ensure that it will not be abused. People must have resided in Scotland for at least 18 months; they have to consult a doctor and have a psychiatrist confirm that they were not suffering from depression; their decision has to be confirmed after two weeks and they cannot die until two days after that.

However, Wesley J. Smith, a veteran critic of euthanasia who scrutinised the bill, claims that it has serious flaws. A 16-year-old could take advantage of it without parental consent; as no method is specified, a gun could be used; and anyone, not necessarily a doctor, could dispatch the person requesting death. ~ Scotsman, Jan 29

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