June 2014

Assisted Suicide (Scotland) Bill

In its written evidence to the Health and Sport Committee, the Society raised a number of concerns on the bill, including the lack of a definition of 'assisted suicide'.  The Society suggests that a very clear and unambiguous definition of what it is to 'assist' suicide be laid out on the face of the bill to avoid any difficulties in interpretation.  There is also a lack of definition of the role of a 'licenced facilitator'.  The Society also raised concerns around the age limit specified in the bill, which is stated as 16.  While the Society has not gone as far as suggesting the age limit be raised, it has made the point that under the current provisions of the bill, it would be possible for a 16 year old to request assisted suicide and another 16 year old to act as licenced facilitator.  Other issues raised include the 14 day time period a person has to commit, or attempt to commit, the act of suicide from the date of the second request; the storage and safekeeping of the drugs, and the ability of solicitors to act as proxies.

Read the Society's full written evidence.