Scotland politics

Video outlines assisted suicide plan

scene from video Image copyright My Life, My Death, My Choice
Image caption The video outlines the safeguards that would be put in place

Campaigners who back plans to legalise assisted suicide in Scotland have produced a video aimed at tackling "misconceptions and misunderstandings" of the proposals.

Holyrood's Health Committee will begin taking evidence on the Assisted Suicide Bill next week.

The legislation would allow those with terminal or life-shortening illnesses to get help in ending their suffering.

The video has been produced by the My Life, My Death, My Choice campaign.

It outlines who would be eligible for assisted suicide, the safeguards which would be put in place and the processes involved.

'Expressed concern'

Campaign spokesman Bob Scott said: "Our discussions with MSPs recently have indicated that some are not fully aware of the measures included in the bill.

"In particular, some have expressed concern that what is being proposed is euthanasia. We want to make clear that this is not the case and that what is being proposed is very different.

"We also want to make clear that the bill only applies to those with a terminal or life-shortening conditions and that it is only those who choose to use the provisions of the bill who will be eligible."

Among those appearing in the video are Rev Scott McKenna, a Church of Scotland minister, criminal advocate Niall McClusky and Tim McGuire of the Humanist Society Scotland.

Second attempt

Mr Scott added: "We know that a significant majority of the Scottish electorate, 69% according to a poll we conducted last year, support the bill and that over 70% of responses to the Health and Sport Committee consultation were also supportive.

"It is time for the politicians to catch-up with public opinion and pass this legislation as quickly as possible."

Those opposed to legalising assisted suicide say it would put pressure on vulnerable people to end their lives for fear of being a financial, emotional or care burden upon others.

The bill was brought forward by former MSP Margo MacDonald, who died in April last year after suffering with Parkinson's disease.

It is the second attempt to pass such a bill at the Scottish Parliament, the first having been voted down by MSPs in 2010.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites