Assisted Suicide bill defeated in Scotland by a 82 to 36 vote

The Scottish assisted suicide bill was just defeated in parliament by a vote of 82 - 36.

The defeat of the assisted suicide bill was predicted by the Care Not Killing Alliance earlier in the week when they announced that 59 MSP's opposed the bill with another 17 MSP's leaning towards opposing the bill.

The day before the vote, Alison Britton, the convener of the Law Society's health and medical law committee in Scotland said that the assisted suicide bill lacked clarity and would be difficult to enforce. Britton stated:

We have said throughout the passage of this Bill that legislation in this area needs to be absolutely clear and those seeking to end their lives, and those who assist them, need a robust and transparent process to be certain under which conditions it would be lawful for assistance to be provided. 
We remain concerned over the lack of definition of the key terms, such as 'assistance' and 'life-shortening' and the functions of the licensed facilitator are still uncertain. 
Lack of such clarity leads to ambiguity and leaves the legislation open to interpretation.

The week before the vote the Care Not Killing Alliance presented a petition of 15,300 people who oppose the assisted suicide bill.

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition congratulates Dr Gordon Macdonald and all of the members of the Care Not Killing Alliance for effectively defeating this dangerous bill.

Assisted suicide is unethical and unsafe. It is wrong to give doctors, or others, the right in law to assist in causing the death of another person.

Law Society of Scotland rejects assisted suicide bill

By Alex Schadenberg, International Chair - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Dr Gordon Macdonald

Dr Gordon Macdonald

The media is reporting that the Law Society of Scotland has joined the chorus of organizations that oppose the assisted suicide bill that will go to a vote tomorrow.

Alison Britton, the convener of the Law Society's health and medical law committee in Scotland said that the assisted suicide bill lacked clarity and would be difficult to enforce.

The media reported Britton as stating:

We have said throughout the passage of this Bill that legislation in this area needs to be absolutely clear and those seeking to end their lives, and those who assist them, need a robust and transparent process to be certain under which conditions it would be lawful for assistance to be provided. 
We remain concerned over the lack of definition of the key terms, such as 'assistance' and 'life-shortening' and the functions of the licensed facilitator are still uncertain. 
Lack of such clarity leads to ambiguity and leaves the legislation open to interpretation.

Dr Gordon Macdonald from the Care Not Killing Alliance Scotland was reported as saying that the assisted suicide bill will likely be defeated.

Last week the Care Not Killing Alliance presented a petition to the Scottish parliament of 15,300 people who oppose the assisted suicide bill. 

Assisted suicide is unethical and unsafe. It is wrong to give doctors, or others, the right in law to assist in causing the death of another person.

Scotland's assisted suicide bill will be defeated

By Alex Schadenberg, International Chair - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Alex Schadenberg

Alex Schadenberg

The Scottish media has reported that Scotland's poorly written and dangerous assisted suicide bill will be defeated on Wednesday. According to the Scottish Express, the Care Not Killing Alliance in Scotland has reported that:

...an analysis of voting intentions ... shows between 65 and 75 per cent of MSPs will reject Green co-convener Patrick Harvie’s proposals. 
Care Not Killing says 59 MSPs – including First Minister Nicola Sturgeon – have already decided to vote against the Assisted Suicide Bill. 
A further 17 are minded against, according to the group’s canvassing. Just 23 have confirmed they will vote for the new laws while a further seven are minded to vote for it, while 21 MSPs are either undecided, undeclared or will abstain.

Earlier this month the Scottish government health committee rejected the assisted suicide bill because it has serious flaws.

Dr Gordon Macdonald, of Care Not Killing, said: 

“The indications from this voting intentions exercise are that at present there could be anything from two-thirds to three-quarters of the chamber voting against the Bill. That is most encouraging but we don’t want to pre-judge anything and will await the decision of the MSPs.” 
“This has been a long, arduous and highly-charged campaign with powerful arguments being made. 
“However, we have said all along that assisted suicide is unnecessary, unethical and uncontrollable and that this Bill is flawed in principle.”

Last week the Care Not Killing Alliance presented a petition to the Scottish parliament of 15,300 people who oppose the assisted suicide bill. 

Assisted suicide is unethical and unsafe. It is simply wrong to give doctors, or others, the right in law to be involved with causing another person's death.

Care Not Killing Scotland presents petition rejecting assisted suicide bill

By Alex Schadenberg, International Chair - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The Scottish media have reported that the Care Not Killing Alliance presented a petition with 15,300 signatures opposing the assisted suicide bill. The assisted suicide bill is scheduled to go to a vote next Wednesday in the Scottish parliament.

Dr Gordon Macdonald

Dr Gordon Macdonald

Last month the Scottish government health committee concluded that the assisted suicide bill contained "significant flaws" with the majority of the health committee opposed to the "general principles" of the bill. The committee stated that the assisted suicide bill lacked clarity in language and undermined suicide prevention efforts.

According to The Extra:

Dr Gordon Macdonald, convenor of Care Not Killing, the campaign group opposed to assisted suicide, said he expected the Bill to be defeated when it is debated and voted on next week. 
Speaking as he handed over the group's petition, he said: "The Bill is wrong in principle, but it's also wrong in a lot of the detail, and I think that has become clear from a couple of the committees that have scrutinised it that that's the case. 
"We would argue that it should be rejected on a point of principle, but even for those who might be minded to support the principle, they should still vote against it because this Bill is so badly written." 
He added: "We have got a fairly good idea of what the Parliament thinks about this Bill and we would expect that it will be defeated next Wednesday."

The assisted suicide bill in Scotland will likely be defeated next Wednesday.

Scottish assisted suicide bill must be rejected by Parliament

This article was published by Dr Peter Saunders on his blog.

By Dr Peter Saunders

A report by MSPs criticising the proposed assisted suicide Bill before Holyrood has been welcomed by campaigners opposing the legislation. 

The Assisted Suicide (Scotland) Bill, introduced by Green Party MSP Patrick Harvie, is due to have its first stage debate in the Scottish Parliament by the end of May.

On a raft of crucial matters the committee has revealed the Bill to be lacking and deeply flawed.

And while stopping short of recommending MSPs to throw out the Bill they have made their view clear that the majority of the Health and Sport Committee, which has been scrutinising the Bill, oppose it.

Dr Gordon Macdonald of Care Not Killing  said,

‘This report confirms what we have said along. The Bill is poorly thought out, ill-conceived, badly-drafted and effectively not fit for purpose. We are delighted that the committee agrees with us that the Bill contains significant flaws which are likely to prevent it from being enacted. It is gratifying to note a majority of the committee is against the Bill although they have not made a formal recommendation to the Parliament to reject the Bill.’

Link to the full article

Double assisted suicide of elderly cousins, based on fear of living alone

By Alex Schadenberg, International Chair - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The Telegraph UK news reported on the assisted suicide deaths of Scottish cousins, Stuart Henderson (86) and Phyllis McConachie (89), who had lived together for 40 years and feared living alone. They died at a suicide clinic in Basel Switzerland.

They were not sick or terminally ill, they were older and feared living alone.

Last year the Swiss suicide groups agreed to extend assisted suicide to people who are elderly but not terminally ill.

Peter Saunders, Campaign Director for the Care Not Killing Alliance stated that these deaths were a great tragedy. Saunders stated:

“Assisted suicide in these circumstances is the ultimate abandonment,” 
“This tragic case strongly underlines the need for comprehensive and affordable patient-centred care in which people's social and spiritual needs and not just physical needs are provided for."

Assisted suicide bills are being debated in Scotland and the UK.

Once society decides that it is acceptable to cause the death of people, the only question remaining is who can be assisted in their suicide.Henderson and McConachie feared living alone. It is concerning that the Swiss suicide group visited them and agreed that their lives were not worth living.

They needed adequate home care and support not assisted suicide.

The Nazi holocaust – let’s not forget the lessons of history and the leading role doctors played

Dr Peter Saunders is a founder of the Care Not Killing Alliance in the UK. This article was published on his blog on January 30, 2015.

Auschwitz

Auschwitz

By Dr Peter Saunders 

This week has seen two significant anniversaries that have revived memories of the Second World War, and in particular what Britain was spared from.

First was the 50th anniversary of the death of the great wartime British Prime Minister Winston Churchill on 24 January 1965.

Second was the 70th anniversary of the liberation of prisoners from the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp – Holocaust Memorial day. More than one million people, mostly Jews, died at the Nazi camp (pictured) before it was liberated by allied troops on 27th January 1945.

Earlier this week a Jewish figurehead sparked controversy by suggesting that new draft legislation seeking to decriminalize assisted suicide in Scotland is based on similar principles to racist Nazi laws that paved the way for the Holocaust.

Ephraim Borowski, director of the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities, spoke out against Patrick Harvie’s Assisted Suicide Bill which is currently making its way through Holyrood in an evidence session with MSPs.

Link to the full article