Legal experts and the police said a law allowing assisted suicide in Scotland needed more clarity in order to remove the risk of someone being prosecuted.
There is a “fine line” between assisting someone killing themselves and an act of euthanasia which could result in criminal charges, MSPs heard.
The plans, contained in a backbench bill, have widespread public backing, said supporters.
But opponents believed such a move was “unethical and uncontrollable”.
The Scottish government does not support a change in the law.
The Assisted Suicide Bill would give people whose lives have become intolerable through a progressive degenerative condition or terminal illness the right to seek the help of a doctor to help end their lives.
The legislation, which has begun its passage through parliament, says the final act must be carried out by the person seeking to end their own life.
But Prof Alison Britton, of the Law Society of Scotland, said a definition of assisting suicide was needed, especially in cases where someone had become too ill to end their life. Read entire report here
Today’s TV news, on both BBC and STV, showed footage of the above protest group and another group in support of the proposal to legalise assisted suicide.
I couldn’t help comparing the above small group (mostly lay Catholics, as far as I can see) with another group taken in 2011 at a Trident protest. Click on photo below to read report. On that occasion, the protest was led by Cardinal O’Brien. We’ve remarked before in our newsletter that bishops are apparently willing to stand shoulder to shoulder with those opposing nuclear weapons and unemployment but standing shoulder to shoulder with pro-lifers opposing the murder of the unborn child or the murder of the elderly and disabled via euthanasia legislation (of which many, of us believe, this “assisted suicide” bill is the precursor) seems to be a very different (and unpopular) category of protest altogether.
However, I digress. I thought we’d launch this thread to discuss the key issues surrounding the proposal to legitimise the killing of one person by another. Can’t be called “murder” (goes the theory) if the person to be killed wishes to be put to death.
I am lost for words that medical professionals would even think of supporting such legislation and even more lost for words to discover that there are Catholics who will be sympathetic to the idea. How do I know that? Because in every other sphere of the moral order Catholics think and act no differently from the rest of the population. Does anyone think that Catholics will rise up in their thousands to oppose this proposal to legalise yet more killing? Led by their zealous bishops? In Scotland? Really? Let’s hear it, then, cos I’m a cynical gal.