Scotland's parliament may reject new assisted suicide bill
An independent MSP (member of the Scottish Parliament) Margo MacDonald, who has Parkinson's disease, has submitted a bill to the Scottish Parliament that will allow terminally ill people to an assisted suicide.
But a survey carried out by the BBC asked two-thirds of MSPs what they though, 17 supported the bill, 53 said they were against and 20 were undecided.
MSPs will vote on the bill in the autumn of Scot's can choose when to die.
How does the bill work?
- A person must be terminally ill or "permanently physically incapacitated"
- A request must be made to, and approved by, a doctor and psychiatrist
- Both must be asked twice after 15-days cooling off period
- Assistance must be supervised by the approving doctor
- Close friends and relatives banned from administering drug
- Only over-16s qualify
- Applicants must be registered with Scottish GP for 18 months
- Bill does not apply to those with dementia or other degenerative mental condition
A cross-party committee at the Scottish parliament is to investigate legalising assisted suicide after an MSP succeeded in tabling a bill to allow doctors to end the lives of terminally-ill patients.
The committee may visit the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland, where more than 100 Britons have already killed themselves, and call evidence from other European and north American states where assisted suicide is already legal as part of their inquiry.
Margo McDonald, the independent MSP who tabled the bill, said she was now more hopeful her bill would be passed than in 2008 when, in an emotionally-charged speech, she first told the Scottish parliament she wanted the freedom to end her life legally if her condition degenerated significantly. She has Parkinson's disease.
Most MSPs are opposed to plans to allow terminally ill people to seek help to die at a time of their choosing, a BBC Scotland survey has suggested.
Independent MSP Margo MacDonald, who has Parkinson's disease, has brought a bill to the Scottish Parliament.
A survey of two-thirds of MSPs showed 17 supported the bill, 53 said they were against and 20 were undecided.
Ms MacDonald said the results were better than expected and she was hopeful of winning further support.