Responding to a new poll on assisted suicide support in Scotland Dr Miro Griffiths, spokesman for Better Way, said:
“In our experience, people’s initial support for ‘assisted dying’ changes when they know what is involved in the process, and how laws have developed in other nations. Campaigners for the practice obscure what happens in ‘assisted deaths’ and ignore troubling evidence of harms.
“When you analyse the global evidence on assisted suicide, it shows that there are profound and unavoidable dangers for both individuals and society at large. In other jurisdictions safeguards have failed and been eroded over time. There is no guarantee this would not happen in Scotland.
“In countries such as Canada, we see cases of coercion and abuse, discrimination against disabled people, and even people feeling forced to opt for assisted death because care is too expensive. Opening the door to this practice in Scotland risks similar outcomes, affecting the most marginalised.”
“It is right to feel empathy for people struggling with terminal illness who feel like ending their lives. Ensuring access to high quality palliative care and counselling is the right response. Giving vulnerable people an experimental cocktail of drugs designed to kill them is not.
“We have a better vision for Scotland. A vision involving high quality palliative care for all, increased action on suicide prevention, and greater work to eliminate discrimination and stigma. These goals are only attainable if the door to assisted suicide remains firmly shut.”
Notes for editors
Better Way opposes assisted suicide, sets out an alternative vision, and provides a platform for marginalised voices. The campaign is supported by experts in several fields including medicine, disability advocacy, and sociology.
A high-quality image of Dr Miro Griffiths is available on request.