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by Gemma Fraser
02 April 2019
New poll shows almost 90 per cent of Scots in favour of assisted dying

Image credit: creative commons

New poll shows almost 90 per cent of Scots in favour of assisted dying

A poll commissioned by a group campaigning for assisted death shows that almost nine out of ten Scots questioned want assisted dying to become law.

The survey comes as Dignity in Dying Scotland launches a nationwide campaign, entitled Let’s do the Right Thing, featuring people who are dying and those who have lost loved ones.

One of the campaigners, Kay Smith, a former palliative care nurse, is terminally ill and wants the choice of assisted death.

She said: “I absolutely love my life but know that my illness means that I will die and most likely of blood poisoning.

“As a former palliative care nurse I know that this would be horrendous for my family to watch. I believe we should have assisted dying here in Scotland so that people like me would have a choice at the end of our lives.

“I intend to live fully to my last breath and it would let me live while I am dying – free from the worry of what is to come for me and the trauma it would inflict on my husband and my daughters.”

Holyrood has seen two attempts to introduce legislation giving people the right to choose when to die, with the late Margo MacDonald’s End of Life Assistance Bill defeated in 2010 and Patrick Harvie’s Assisted Suicide Scotland Bill rejected in 2015.

Dignity in Dying Scotland has been meeting with MSPs to discuss their views and the charity is looking to launch a consultation on new legislation in this parliamentary session, with a bill following.

Ally Thomson, director of Dignity in Dying Scotland, said: “It’s clear that assisted dying for terminally ill people has the support of the Scottish public.

“This latest poll shows that support which was high to begin with is only increasing. Most Scots believe that dying people should not be forced to suffer at the end of life and that there are currently too many bad deaths. Their views cannot be ignored. The law in Scotland needs to change.

“In a world where people feel there is so much division on some issues in our parliaments, assisted dying is an issue on which almost everyone agrees.

“This campaign is all about love and putting the voice of people who have lived and are living through the injustice of the current law at the heart of the debate.

“All the people featured in the campaign either love life and don’t want to have a bad death or have seen someone they love suffer and don’t wish that to happen to anyone else. They are bravely telling their stories and encouraging other people to have their voices heard on this too.

“We’re calling on people to show their support to our decision-makers in parliament and sign an online official register of support for assisted dying at www.letsdotherightthing.org.”

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