Humanists welcome BMA decision to drop opposition to assisted dying

September 15, 2021

The BMA dropped its opposed stance to assisted dying in a landmark vote yesterday. Their longstanding opposition has been instrumental in the failure of previous bills to legalise assisted dying in Scotland, so the change in stance could be crucial to the success of the bill that is about to be brought before the Scottish Parliament by Liam McArthur MSP.

In response to the vote Liam McArthur said:

“The BMA’s change of position takes us a step closer to becoming a society that respects and protects personal bodily autonomy at every stage in a person’s life. The Scottish public are overwhelmingly supportive of the introduction of legislation that allows terminally ill, mentally competent adults to choose an assisted death. The BMA’s decision to listen to their membership and to the will of the Scottish people gives us the best possible chance of creating legislation that protects everyone’s choices, as well as the rights of medical professionals.”

The Society is part of a coalition with Dignity in Dying Scotland and Friends at the End that have been instrumental in the creation of the bill that Liam McArthur will present before the Scottish Parliament this month. Humanist Society Scotland Chief Executive Fraser Sutherland said,

“The BMA’s change of position takes us a step closer to becoming a society that respects and protects personal bodily autonomy at every stage in a person’s life. The Scottish public are overwhelmingly supportive of the introduction of legislation that allows terminally ill, mentally competent adults to choose an assisted death. The BMA’s decision to listen to their membership and to the will of the Scottish people gives us the best possible chance of creating legislation that protects everyone’s choices, as well as the rights of medical professionals.”

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