We want your thoughts on the Assisted Suicide (Scotland) Bill

Age Scotland is planning to respond to the Assisted Suicide (Scotland) Bill proposed by Margo McDonald MSP.

We would like to hear from older people in Scotland that have a view on the Bill. We will feed individuals’ perspectives into our official consultation response.

The main provisions of the proposed bill are:

  • it will give any person who meets the eligibility requirements the right to request medication to end their own life
  • it will set out a straightforward process for a qualifying person to follow, involving initial registration followed by two formal requests
  • it will decriminalise the actions of those who assist a qualifying person to end their own life within the parameters set by the Bill
  • it will require a trained and “licensed facilitator” to be present when a qualifying person takes their own life.

Do you have a view on this topic? If you would like to feed into the charity’s position on the Bill, please contact our Senior Parliamentary and Policy Officer, Callum Chomczuk on Callum.chomczuk@agescotland.org.uk. You can also leave comments on this blog post; we’d very much like to hear your feedback. The deadline for this is 13 April 2012.

10 thoughts on “We want your thoughts on the Assisted Suicide (Scotland) Bill

  1. Thank you for giving people the opportunity to voice their opinion about this subject, it is long overdue.I like everything on the above list, but would like something added. I feel that people should list themselves at a young age, long before they need the service, so as to make sure they agreed with it, and are not just taking the easy way out. This will also help with insurance issues !

    • Hi Danie, many thanks for leaving us a comment. We think it’s very important that we consult people in later life before responding to topics like this – your views will help our policy team pull together a robust response that reflects the perspectives of older people.

      You’ve made an interesting point about people registering beforehand – almost like the organ donor register or something of that nature?

  2. I HAVE SO MANY DIFFERENT THOUGHTS ON THIS…THAT’S WHERE QUALITY OF LIFE COMES INTO PLAY….IF SOMEONE HAS AN ILLNESS WHERE THEY HAVE LOST ALL SENSE OF LIVING THAT’S ONE STORY. BUT ON THE OTHER HAND IF IT’S CAUSED THROUGH LONLEYNESS OR DEPRESSION THEN OTHER HELP SHOULD BE GIVEN. I WISH THERE WAS MORE AVALABLE TO STOP THIS LEADING TO DISPAIR.

  3. If I had an incurable illness and was suffering ,with no quality of life ,then let me die, we treat animals with more concern than human beings. I will happily sign for this now ,with decision in the hands of 2 doctors,one my g.p.

    • Hi Alan, many thanks for letting us know your feelings. We’ll pass your views to our policy department, who will take them into account when drafting a response to the proposed bill. It’s really important we know what views people have so we can make sure we’re reflecting them properly.

  4. Firstly, can I say that I remain in two minds with regard to the points raised. My main point is that people with capacity -( and capacity measured appropriately), to decide what outcomes they wish, should have these ” wishes ” documented. Power of Attorney and/or using such vehicles as Welfare Guardianship should be in place long before capacity is questioned. I see little difficulty with medics agreeing to withdraw treatment. I am much more concerned that the right to” assisted suicide” might be abused.
    If I was in very poor quality of life, as agreed by family, and legally documented, and with very poor prognoses, then I would want treatment to be withdrawn. Whether I would want to be proactive- yes probably! However, (I am aware that this IS a slippery slope , and what might today be very unusual, might become commonplace, and perhaps not used as initially intended!)
    Nothing new here I suppose. I do think that medicines have greatly given relief at the end of life, but a slow lingering death , well I would not wish that on anyone, and not for myself.

    • Hi David, many thanks for your considered comments. We’ve found so far that people are generally supportive of the bill, as long as there are eligibility requirements are in place and people are in sound mind when they make decisions. You’ve echoed this sentiment too.

      We’ll pass your points to our policy team – they’ll be keen to read your views.

  5. This has always been a very grey area to deal with, the pros and cons are so varied. But I truthfully feel if a person has no quality of life, and medication is doing nothing for them and there death will be slow and painful, then the right to end that should lie with the person concered and their families. How often do we put animals down because it is in their best interest, we should be aloud that same consideration.

    • Hi Teresa, thanks very much for your comment. You’re absolutely right – the subject is emotive and there are plenty grey areas to address. Margo McDonald’s bill will hopefully open up the debate around assisted suicide and allow people to have their voices heard.

      The more we know about your perspectives, the more it will help to shape our consultation response so thanks again for letting us know your thoughts. Our response will come out mid-April, and we’ll keep everyone updated.

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