‘Unprecedented response to unprecedented dangers’ – Better Way statement

A CONSULTATION on an assisted suicide bill before the Scottish Parliament received a record number of responses, the Daily Record reports, with more than 10,000 submissions from members of the public and organisations.

The call for views, which closed on 22 December last year, outlined plans for legal physician assisted suicide in Scotland and asked a number of questions about the proposals.

Responding to the news, a spokesperson for the Better Way campaign commented:

“The response to this call for views is significant, although not altogether surprising. You might expect an unprecedented reaction to plans that pose unprecedented dangers to vulnerable Scots, and society at large. In our own response to the call for views, we warned that safeguards supposed to prevent coercion and abuse have failed in other countries. Laws have been incrementally extended. And structural inequalities have become more deeply entrenched.

“We noted evidence that suicide prevention in wider society is undermined by doctor-assisted suicide, which creates a pernicious exception for certain groups. And we pointed to expert testimony stressing that the process of assisted suicide itself is deeply traumatic to patients – not painless, peaceful, and dignified as some proponents suggest. With evidence of such harms, affecting the most vulnerable and disenfranchised groups in society, we believe it is unconscionable for MSPs to risk the same outcomes in Scotland.”