In Neil Mackay's Big Read on Sunday, he sat down with MSP Liam McArthur to discuss assisted dying legislation that looks set to pass as early as next year.

Read that here 👈

Today, Baroness Finlay of Llandaff makes the case for listening to doctors in the debate given the sensitivity and importance of detail in regards to the issue.

The Baroness Finlay of Llandaff, Crossbench Peer and former GP of Maryhill, Glasgow writes:

"It is time that Scottish lawmakers heed the medical community’s objection to assisted suicide. The 2,500 doctors who are backing a campaign to halt the Assisted Dying Bill encounter dying patients far more acutely than any other interest group – yet thus far in the assisted suicide conversation, their opinions have been overlooked.

Assisted suicide campaigners want MSPs to agree to it in principle first, and later work out the practice – yet the detail matters. The practicalities of assisting suicide are exactly why doctors are so concerned. Ingesting lethal drugs to end one’s life is not a straightforward process and cannot guarantee a peaceful death – the data from Oregon shows a high complication rate and some have re-awakened. These doctors want to care, not deliberately cause early death.

Licensing doctors to assist suicide erodes the doctor/patient relationship at the most vulnerable time in a person’s life. If this legislation proceeds, the Scottish government will not prioritise universal access to good quality, specialist palliative care to improve quality of life in the time left, but will divert NHS funds to shortening life."

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