Healthcare professionals must care, not kill
It is being reported that the Scottish Government's Health and Sport Committee, which will meet next week to discuss the proposed Assisted Suicide Bill, is likely to reject the proposals initially put forward by the late Margo MacDonald.
Proponents have suggested that most of those invited to consult on the bill are against assisted suicide which will ensure any plans to introduce assisted dying in Scotland are doomed to failure at a very early stage.
This may, of course, be down to the fact that most medical professionals are against such a move, and for very good reason. It is the task of the medical profession to care for people and bring them back to health. If that is not possible then it is a basic human right for all people that the state ensure they are cared for in the best way possible with the intention of alleviating any pain and suffering as far as possible. It is not the task of doctors and nurses to simply dispense with this basic tenet of their profession and secure the death of patients.
Should the legislation come to pass, people with disabilities and the elderly will suddenly be at risk as the reality of state sanctioned killing comes to Scotland.
And let us not forget sick children. Even the state is content to allow for their death in western civilisations such as Belgium. It is inevitable that assisted suicide for children will eventually come to Scotland should this bill be passed.
It is no secret that states which have introduced assisted suicide have experienced significant increases in death rates. Consider the state of Oregon in the United States where a 450% increase in deaths has followed since the introduction of assisted suicide in 1997. That's a 450% increase in death! A similar increase has been experienced in the Netherlands in recent years.
Care Not Killing, an organisation which is directly opposed to the new bill has outlined the following concerns with assisted suicide:
Dr Peter Saunders, Campaign Director of Care Not Killing, has said: "The right to die can so easily become the duty to die and vulnerable people who are sick, elderly or disabled will inevitably feel pressure, whether real or imagined, to end their lives so as not to be a burden on others. Ms MacDonald's new proposals are effectively her old ones dished up again. I expect the Scottish Parliament to give them short shrift."
Let's hope Dr Saunders is right and that this bill is short lived.
Remember, it is not too late to sign the Care Not Killing petition and to inform your MSP of your opposition to this bill. You can do so now by clicking here: http://www.carenotkilling.org.uk/scotland/petition/