The Scottish Parliament debating chamber

Assisted Dying

We support the proposed Assisted Dying for Terminally Ill Adults (Scotland) Bill

The Time is Now

We have long campaigned for compassionate choice at the end of life, and we are currently supporting the proposed Assisted Dying for Terminally Ill Adults (Scotland) Bill. The bill was created with our support alongside our coalition partners Dignity in Dying Scotland and Friends at the End. It is being  taken forward by Liam McArthur MSP.

The problem

Repeated surveys show that the majority of the Scottish population support properly regulated legal assisted dying. But in Scotland adults with a terminal illness have no access to legal assisted dying. 

A key humanist belief is that everybody should have agency over their own body and be able to make the choices that best serve them. For this reason we have campaigned for legal assisted dying in Scotland for three decades. 

Currently terminally ill adults in Scotland who want an assisted death sometimes choose to take matters into their own hands. This can result in painful and distressing situations for them and their loved ones, who may risk criminal charges if they are seen to be assisting. Some people spend thousands of pounds to access assisted dying facilities overseas. The rules by which these facilities are governed means that people are forced to choose an assisted death far sooner than they would if assisted dying was legal in Scotland. The majority of terminally ill adults who choose neither option face the risk of a long and painful death, with palliative care, however good, being unable to mitigate all pain suffered at the end of life.

The solution

If the proposed Assisted Dying for Terminally Ill Adults (Scotland) Bill is passed into law, terminally ill adults will be able to choose an assisted death. The bill includes 12 robust safeguards that would prevent the coercion of terminally ill people who do not want an assisted death.

Our campaign

The Time is Now to legalise assisted dying for terminally ill adults in Scotland who choose it. Along with our coalition partners Dignity in Dying Scotland and Friends at the End we have worked hard to develop a bill that supports bodily autonomy and the right for terminally ill adults to choose an assisted death. The bill includes robust defences against the potential risks that legal assisted dying could pose to vulnerable people if poorly implemented and monitored. 

Get involved

The public consultation stage of the bill process has passed and the consultation responses show a Scotland that is ready to end the ban on legalised assisted dying.  After the Bill was lodged by Liam McArthur MSP it received support from 36 MSPs, more than a quarter of members and double the 18 MSPS that the bill needed to move to the next stage.  McArthur now has the right to introduce the Assisted Dying for Terminally Ill Adults (Scotland) Bill in Parliament. 

The Scottish Parliament debating chamber

Write to your MSP

You can help us by writing to your MSPs telling them that you support assisted dying.

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