A senior Tory MSP says she has changed her position on assisted dying because she does not have confidence in Holyrood to properly scrutinise the legislation.

Sue Webber told The Herald that while the parameters of Lib Dem Liam McArthur’s proposed Bill were narrow, she was anxious about “legislative creep” and parliamentarians passing a Bill that would see safeguards removed in the future.

The Assisted Dying for Terminally Ill Adults (Scotland) Bill is expected to be tabled shortly with an initial vote on its general principles taking place later in the year.

READ MORE: Equality minister to vote against assisted dying law - but most MSPs set to back Bill

Research by The Herald suggests a majority of MSPs will vote for the new law.

At least 49 are publicly backing the Bill, with supporters confident that others who have not yet made their views known, including some government ministers, will come out for change.

Holyrood has twice voted down previous attempts to give those who are terminally ill medical assistance to take their own life, with the last bid in 2015 being defeated by 82 votes to 36.

Ms Webber, who is the Convenor of Holyrood's Education, Children and Young People Committee, said: “I was pro-assisted dying until I got in here. It's the reality of the fact that my vote actually makes a difference now. When I was out I could have an opinion, but there was actually no consequence to that opinion.

“I'm in here now. And being in that role of legislating I don't think I would be able to feel comfortable knowing that one person has died because of a decision that I've taken.“

The Lothian list MSP - who ran a business providing services and equipment to the NHS before entering parliament - said if hospice services were funded adequately then she believed “no one would have a bad death.”

She added: “My aunt passed away from ovarian cancer in October and it was really rapid from the point of diagnosis to when she passed away.

“Discussions around death all happened with those that were close. We didn't shy away from what was happening. And in the end, she turned to the doctors and said, 'no more.' It was her choice and that can exist.”

Mr McArthur's proposed Bill would “enable competent adults who are terminally ill to be provided at their request with assistance to end their life”.

It would only be available to people aged 16 and over, with a prognosis of no longer than six months to live, who were deemed to be of competent mind and able to administer and ingest the medication themselves.

READ MORE: Assisted dying: Ignore celebrities as Scottish Parliament legislates

Ms Webber said she had spoken to Mr McArthur about her concerns, and that he had tried to give her some reassurance.

“But this Parliament right now hasn't got the best record of safeguarding in legislation,” she said. “So my confidence in us as a Parliament isn't there.”

The MSP added: “If you allow one group to ask to die, then what's to stop another group saying no, no, we need to let these group of patients people pass.

“And a wee amendment here, whatever it is, before you know, it's not the legislation that we passed.”

Responding to Ms Webber’s comments, Mr McArthur said the current law just “does not work.”

He told The Herald: “It forces terminally ill people who face a bad death to have to make harrowing, desperate decisions behind closed doors and provides no protection to other groups either.

“The Bill I am bringing forward addresses both the lack of safety and the lack of compassion inherent in the blanket ban on assisted dying.

“It is limited in scope to terminally ill, mentally competent adults only and contains robust safeguards, with a waiting period for the dying person to reflect, coercion checks and two assessments by independent doctors.

“There are no such safeguards under the current law.

“No country that has introduced the type of narrow law proposed for Scotland has ever expanded its eligibility beyond terminally ill people and I believe, as does the public, that alongside access to excellent end-of-life care this is the right law for us.

“I am confident that the Scottish Parliament can, as other Parliaments across the world have, pass a much-needed law that lessens suffering and increases safety.

“In fact, I am sure that when we do, we will wonder why it took us so long.”