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Dignity in Dying disappointed that decision-makers in Scotland are failing to represent their constituents

In a report out today on Margo MacDonald MSP’s End of Life Assistance Bill, the committee considering the Bill voted against the Bill, five to one.

Sarah Wootton, Chief Executive of Dignity in Dying said:

“This is almost a reverse proportion of support for assisted dying, compared to the general public. Just one in five British people are opposed to assisted dying, yet Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) continue to fail to represent their constituents on this matter.

“We welcome the process and believe that it will lead to a refined and better safeguarded law which will allow the choice of assisted dying to terminally ill, mentally competent Scottish people, once MSPs have the courage to represent their constituents on this issue.

“The Committee expressed a ‘strong’ view that ‘individual choice has to be considered within the context of society as a whole’. Dignity in Dying agrees, but in contrast to a majority of the committee we believe that this would best be served by regulating assisting dying, which happens already without up-front safeguards, to prevent potential abuse.”

Dignity in Dying welcomed proposed changes to the Bill to allow the choice of assisted dying to terminally ill, mentally competent adults only.

Notes to editor:

About Dignity in Dying:

Dignity in Dying campaigns for greater choice, control and access to services at the end of life. It advocates providing terminally ill adults with the option of an assisted death, within strict legal safeguards, and for universal access to high quality end-of-life care.

Dignity in Dying has over 25,000 supporters and receives its funding entirely from donations from the public.

The British Social Attitudes Survey 2010 found that 92% of non-religious and 71% of religious people support assisted dying. This relates to overall support of 82%.

About Dignity in Dying’s evidence to the Scottish Bill:

For information on the End of Life Assistance (Scotland) Committee and a copy of its report:

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