Assisted dying a human right MSPs told

April 19, 2018

The Equality and Human Rights Committee today heard evidence that the law against assisted dying in Scotland is a potential breach of Human Rights.

Taking evidence on how the Scottish Parliament can better protect Human Rights, Humanist Society Scotland highlighted the refusal to give individuals rights over the choices at the end of life.

Giving evidence to the Committee, Gordon MacRae, Chief Executive of Humanist Society Scotland, said:

Gordon MacRae

Currently individuals in Scotland do not have a full control over the end of their life.

This results on many suffering acute pain and distress at the end of life unnecessarily. Families and friends have to stand by and watch as their loved one passes away in undignified and uncomfortable circumstances which they have wished to avoid.

Thousands are choosing to travel to Switzerland every year to access assisted dying options, an option only available to those who can afford it and are well enough to travel.

Scotland’s approach to end of life care needs to include access to regulated assisted dying for those who choose to access it.

Millions of people around the world live in countries where assisted dying is legal, regulated and forms part of the overall choices facing people at the end of their life. Scotland is increasingly being left behind with how we approach discussions around death.

Gordon MacRae, Humanist Society Scotland

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