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Doctors Criticise MSP’s Right To Die Bill

April 26, 2010

MARGO MacDonald’s right to die bill has been widely criticised by a group of senior Scottish health professionals who claim that it “devalues” disabled and terminally ill people.

The controversial End of Life Assistance (Scotland) Bill, launched by the independent Lothian MSP in January, would allow doctors to assist those who want to end their lives.

The bill would require those seeking assisted suicide to be either terminally ill or “permanently physically incapacitated” but critics say changing the law for a few determined individuals will only endanger vulnerable people.

Yesterday, a group of 16 senior specialists involved in palliative care treatment claimed that the bill, if it becomes law, could threaten the well-being of hundreds of thousands of people for the sake of a small number who want to control the timing of their own deaths.

In a letter to The Times, the health group says: “This sends a message to all disabled and terminally ill patients that somehow because they are dependent on others they are of less value and so may feel that they ought to bring forward the time of their death.”

The letter comes just three weeks before the deadline for submissions in evidence to the special committee set up at Holyrood to study the bill.

Ms MacDonald, who has Parkinson’s Disease, said there was a difference between euthanasia and assisted suicide.

She said: “The notes accompanying the bill make it abundantly clear the proposals rest on patient autonomy and that no other person would legally be able to end another person’s life.”

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 28, 2010 2:05 am

    “Ms MacDonald, who has Parkinson’s Disease, said there was a difference between euthanasia and assisted suicide.”

    Yeah I do agree that there is a difference between the two. Euthanasia is the deliberate act undertaken by one person with the intention of ending the life of another person in order to relieve that person’s suffering while assisted suicide is the act of intentionally killing oneself with the assistance of another who provides the knowledge, means or both. But on the other hand there are still similarities between these two terms. I believe that euthanasia and assisted suicide can be both categorize as “suicide” no matter how deliberate and intentional it is. These two depicts killing another person on one owns hand.

    Personally I don’t agree with euthanasia and even assisted suicide. Human life is a gift, it was given, yeah there are times that we neglect this life that’s why many people are unhealthy, but I definitely believe that no person have the right to take away that life no matter how willing the patient is.


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