I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree with all your correspondents who have stated that properly-funded first-class palliative care should be the prime concern of everyone.

Every effort should be made to ensure that it is the best that is possible; however there is no reason to separate it from assisted dying as this can be part of the first-class palliative care that we all seek.

Most terminally ill people will not seek to die sooner than is required.

Life is very precious and to take a decision to end it would not be taken lightly by the vast majority of people.

I have a friend who regularly quotes “who wants to live to be 100, ask someone who is 99” and I feel that sums up how we all feel about dying.

Liam McArthur’s Bill offers this option as a component of palliative care and I don’t see why people who believe in Santa Claus should deprive me of this option and force me to die six months prematurely during a “holiday” to Switzerland.

I have no respect for the politicians who seek to preserve their positions by seeking the moral high ground instead of voting in accordance with the wishes of the vast majority of the public who elect them.

If they want an easy way out, call a referendum and let the public salve their consciences for them.

Iain McIntyre, Sauchie.

• I SYMPATHISE with Jacq Kelly on the recent sad loss of her grandmother and am pleased that her demise was "peacefully, in her own bed, as she had wanted" ("It’s assisted living Scotland needs, not assisted dying", The Herald, April 10). She further wrote: "I wish the same could be possible for everyone when the time comes."

I wholeheartedly agree with that statement. However, that is not always the case. There are, unfortunately, a small percentage of people dying who suffer far too long, with no relief from constant and intolerable pain, until death.

Such people, if still mentally competent, and have requested assistance to terminate their suffering, are due some compassion and that assistance.

There should be countrywide support for Liam McArthur's Assisted Dying Bill.

G Caskie, Campbeltown.

READ MORE: This is not assisted dying: It's assisted suicide

READ MORE: Why does petrol vary so much in price? is it profiteering?

A better way for Rùm

I NOTE your article on Kinloch Castle ("Businessman blames Slater for collapsed sale", The Herald, April 10), and take issue with the comments of Councillor Angus Macdonald.

The community on Rùm had and still has significant concerns about any sale of the castle. The proposals and heads of terms mentioned by Mr MacDonald on behalf of Jeremy Hosking were out of touch with the Scottish Government's 21st century land reform agenda and that's without mentioning any environmental and social impact. For the Government to sell a private estate (it's not just the castle) on an island and shoehorn it into the middle of a community-owned village just because it needs to dispose of an asset is irresponsible.

Lorna Slater stepped in at our request, not as a replacement for Kate Forbes, but because she was the minister responsible for directing NatureScot (NS) and the only person able to prevent it from proceeding without due diligence. What followed were months of lengthy meetings with NS, the Scottish Land Commission and sometimes Mr Hosking's agent to try to reach some kind of understanding. Sadly none was reached with both NS and Mr Hosking's agent entirely unable to understand or empathise with what the community were saying.

The Herald: Kinloch CastleKinloch Castle (Image: Freelancer)

We have tried hard to approach the crumbling castle issue with an open mind. Some of the heritage lobby do recognise that buildings such as this cannot, and possibly should not, be propped up indefinitely and certainly with what Kinloch Castle represents, you could strongly argue that it falls into this category. We are tired of being slated for suggesting alternatives to a full restoration; having the entire community trolled online for stopping the sale hasn't been enjoyable but some lateral thinking is what is required.

Now we as a community are engaged in the process we are not willing to accept anything other than a solution that works for everyone. This may not mean a sale, though the Government may not agree with this. Yes, the castle requires investment whatever its future but finding the solution and then looking for investment seems a better plan to us.

After all, whatever terms are agreed for any sale doesn't stop it bring sold on to someone else in the future who doesn't have the best intentions for the resident community.

The Small Isles prides itself on the community ownership on Eigg and Rùm and the new community developments on Canna too. We work hard to promote sustainable travel and tourism, we provide affordable housing and have several community-led income-generating capital projects under our belt. We are a thriving self-sustaining community who have worked hard to build our own economy, and what we really don't need is what a privately-owned castle estate could do to all this hard work. There are other innovative ideas out there that could demonstrate what land reform and community empowerment really means in Scotland and we look forward to talking to people who can pursue this more positive agenda.

Fliss Fraser, Volunteer Director, Isle of Rùm Community Trust, Secretary, Small Isles Community Council.

Not so clean

PUTTING aside Brian Wilson 's Nimby approach to climate change ("Wood-burning ban punishes poor", The Herald, April 11), does he actually believe that he's using clean-burning (sic) logs?

Perhaps he should have paid more attention to his Chemistry lessons in school.

Logs (carbon) + air (oxygen) = carbon dioxide (greenhouse gas).

Roy Gardiner, Kilmarnock.

A taste of the past

DUNCAN Cameron (Letters, April 11) rightly remarks in his encomium of solid fuel that "people who have only ever used gas or electric appliances do not appreciate that warmth can be calibrated in different ways".

However, he omits to mention a point made several times in Neil Munro's "Erchie" stories (which are as good as the Para Handy ones, but almost forgotten now). When Erchie's wife Jinnet declares her intention of replacing the range with a gas cooker, Erchie's coal merchant friend Duffy expostulates: "Ye cannae dae that - it jist taks awa' a' the flavour."

Erchie acknowledges that a gas fire is adequate for a dentist's waiting room where one's mind is occupied with other things, "but it's no adapted for a Christian household where there's boots to dry".

Robin Dow, Rothesay.