Scottish Assisted Suicide Bill lost by a substantial margin

The Assisted Suicide (Scotland) Bill has been defeated in a free vote by 82 votes to 36 in the Scottish Parliament.

The Bill proposed a system loosely based on that which operates in Oregon (USA) with trained licensed facilitators but with scope for mentally competent adults with a ‘terminal or life-shortening illness’ or a ‘progressive and terminal or life-shortening condition’ who have concluded that their ‘quality’ of their life is not worth living..

The Bill has been heavily criticised for its definitions, poor reporting provisions, minimal penalties, a ‘saving’ clause protecting doctors acting in ‘good faith’, no specification of ‘means’ of suicide and the absence of a conscience clause.

Oral evidence was taken earlier this year and Scottish First Minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon that she would not support the bill. In addition over 15,000 Scots signed a petition against it.

The Health and Sport Committee which scrutinised the Bill had previously written a damning view of its shortcomings.