A campaign to legalise assisted suicide in Scotland has been launched by Independent MSP Margo MacDonald.
The Lothian MSP, who has Parkinson’s Disease, hopes to bring legislation before the parliament next year.
She is sending out a consultation paper and needs the support of at least 18 MSPs to bring forward a Holyrood bill.
Mrs MacDonald, 65, said people should have the right to choose the time and place of their death and she called for a debate on the issue.
The leader of the Roman Catholic church in Scotland, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, said it was not up to us to decide when we die.
He said: “Life is a gift from Almighty God, given us through Almighty God through the cooperation of our parents.
“If God gives us that gift, He can take that from us but we’re not taking it from Him and as it were saying, ‘well God, I’m finished with life because I can’t cope with cancer or Parkinson’s or whatever it has to be’. We just wait on God calling us to himself.”
Full story at BBC Scotland.
Meanwhile, CARE for Scotland said it believed Ms MacDonald’s initiative to be misguided, and that the most appropriate response for the terminally ill was to make effective palliative care more generally available.
The organisation has urged its supporters to write to their MSPs asking them whether they would be likely to support legislation permitting physician-assisted suicide.
Source: CARE for Scotland.