By Alex Schadenberg, International Chair – Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
The BBC reported that the Care Not Killing (CNK) in Scotland has launched an online petition calling on MSPs [Members of the Scottish Parliament] to reject a bill that would allow people to end their life by assisted suicide.
This bill represents the second attempt to pass assisted suicide at the Scottish Parliament, the first having been voted down by MSPs in 2010. The justice committee is due to take evidence on the practical application and legal aspects of the bill at its meeting on Tuesday, October 28.
The BBC reported that CNK, which includes disability and human rights groups, healthcare providers and faith-based bodies, said the current law making assisted suicide illegal is “clear and right”. CNK stated that:
Proposals to legalise assisted suicide are “unnecessary, unethical and uncontrollable”, according to campaigners opposed to the move.
The BBC quoted CNK Spokesman Dr Gordon Macdonald who said:
“Any change in the law to allow assisted suicide would place pressure on vulnerable people to end their lives for fear of being a financial, emotional or care burden upon others.
“This would especially affect people who are disabled, elderly, sick or depressed.
“The Scottish Parliament rightly rejected the legalisation of assisted suicide and euthanasia just four years ago out of concern for public safety.
“In every free democratic society, there are limits placed on human freedom in order to protect the common good and vulnerable people.
“The law must not be changed to accommodate the wishes of a small number of desperate and determined people at the expense of the rights of others.”
“Once any so-called ‘right-to-die’ is established, we will see incremental extension with activists applying pressure to expand the categories of people who qualify for it. The right to die will become a duty to die.”