Scottish MSPs oppose assisted suicide

In a letter to the Sunday times (UK) a cross party group of nine MSPs (Members of the Scottish Parliament) have cosigned a letter opposing moves to legalise assisted suicide in Scotland.

The last bill that aimed at legalising assisted suicide was defeated in 2015 by a decisive vote of 82 to 36.

The MSPs ask in their letter "Have we really become a society that says the best answer we can provide to those suffering in end-of-life situations is to help them kill themselves? Is that really all we can offer?"

The letter goes on to say:

That, to us, is the measure of a desperately cold, soulless society. We think that in Scotland today we are better than that.

This issue poses serious questions for all of us. What sort of people are we? What sort of society do we want to be? What would such a law tell us about our nation? There’s a view it should be up to the individual alone to decide not just how to live, but how to die, and that this should be enshrined in law. The idea may be superficially attractive, but even for those with a liberal outlook, it is self-evidently obvious that taking a life will not only have an impact on one individual, it affects others, too.

For the state to say that suicide is to be assisted in certain circumstances means we are in danger of sending out mixed messages. Society should be preventing suicide, not assisting it.

It has been said that legalising assisted suicide means the whole of society, and not only the person wanting to die, is accepting that a person has lost all value, worth and meaning in life. We believe that this would have a damaging effect on society, and dangerously undermine the legal protection established in the concept of equal and inherent human dignity.

Murdo Fraser, Jeremy Balfour, Donald Cameron and Gordon Lindhurst (Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party )

Elaine Smith, Neil Bibby and Mark Griffin (Scottish Labour)

John Mason (Scottish National Party)

Mike Rumbles (Liberal Democrat).

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