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, and 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 can choose to take matters into their own hands, often resulting in botched suicide attempts or long and painful deaths. They can ask for help to die from friends and family, who risk criminal charges if they comply. Or they can 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 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 that did 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, and the potential risks that legal assisted dying could pose to vulnerable people if poorly implemented and monitored. 

Get involved

The public consultation part of the Bill process has passed and the consultation responses showed 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

Please use our handy tool to write to your Scottish MPs and let them know that you support the Bill. The message can be personalised to add your own thoughts and experiences – we know that exposing MSPs the real life examples of how the current ban fails people is fundamental in securing their support for the Bill.

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