Sunday, 22 December 2013

Suicide Facilitators

The Assisted Suicide (Scotland) Bill 2013 presented to the Scottish Parliament by Margo MacDonald MSP would allow 16 year olds to become suicide facilitators. (See Section 20)
The Bill enables people with terminal or life-shortening illnesses or progressive conditions which are terminal or life-shortening and who wish to end their own lives to obtain assistance in doing so. It does this by removing criminal and civil liability from those who provide such assistance provided that the procedure set out in the Bill is followed.
This procedure for accessing a lawful assisted suicide is designed to ensure that the individual seeking it meets the Bill’s eligibility criteria, has made his or her own informed decision to end his or her life and has had the opportunity to reflect before moving forward at key stages.  
I am reminded of Aileen Campbells`s pronouncement, which in light of the above Bill and the implications for sixteen year olds, looks a bit twisted: "This Government’s vision for children and young people is clear: We want Scotland to be the best place in the world for them to grow up. A place where rights are respected and where children can access all the opportunities and support they need, when they need it.”  

And now the proposal that a 16 year old will have the right to assist a suicide? But not a right to determine their own wellbeing.

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