Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Scottish Parliament rejects MacDonald euthanasia bill

The Scottish parliament, today, stunningly defeated Margo MacDonald's End-of-Life Assistance bill, that would have legalized euthanasia in Scotland.

The bill was defeated by an astounding 85 to 16 vote, with two abstentions.

The defeat of the euthanasia bill in Scotland comes after the recent defeat of a euthanasia bill in South Australia by a vote of 12 to 9. In September, a bill that would have legalized euthanasia in Western Australia was defeated by a vote of 24 to 11. On April 21, the Canadian parliament defeated bill C-384, that would have legalized euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada, by a vote of 228 to 59. Last January, a bill in New Hampshire that would have legalized "Oregon style" assisted suicide was defeated by a vote of 242 to 113.

One of the reasons for the success of our campaigns has been the willingness of groups who oppose the legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide, which allows physicians to directly and intentionally cause the death of people, to work together.

Gordon Macdonald of the Care Not Killing Alliance commented on the vote:
'This is a fantastic result and a victory for the most vulnerable in our community. The detailed scrutiny and exhaustive investigation that this bill has had over many months and the sheer magnitude of its defeat should settle this issue in Scotland for a generation.

MSPs have voted overwhelmingly today to reject in principle the legalization of physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia in Scotland recognizing that such a move would seriously endanger public safety. They have instead sent a ringing endorsement to making the very best palliative care widely available and accessible.

The key argument that decided this vote and the similar votes in the House of Lords in 2006 and 2009 is a simple one. The right to die can so easily become the duty to die. Vulnerable people who are sick, elderly or disabled can so easily feel pressure, whether real or imagined, to end their lives so as not to be a burden on others.

Parliament's first responsibility is to protect the vulnerable and that is what they have voted to do today.'
Edward Turner
The article in the BBC news stated:
Some critics have claimed it could have led to Scotland becoming a "suicide tourism" destination, along with other countries where the practice is legal, such as Switzerland.

There have also been concerns it could fail to safeguard frail, elderly people.
MacDonald failed to mention that Edward Turner, a leader of the assisted suicide lobby group, Dying in Dignity, expressed his opposition to the language the Scottish bill because it allowed "suicide tourism" in a similar manner as Switzerland.

My assessment of the MacDonald euthanasia bill was that it was written in an intentionally vague and confusing manner in order to allow people with disabilities and those living with chronic conditions to be killed by euthanasia.

The only explanation I could come up with to explain the radically vague language of her bill is that Margo MacDonald lives with Parkinson's disease and she was designing the law so she could have herself killed by euthanasia, even though her condition was not terminal.

Margo MacDonald
After the defeat of her bill, MacDonald was reported by BBC to have said:
"I'll cut to the chase and condemn as unworthy and cheap, the contribution made by the publishers and authors of this catalogue of linguistic contortions, headed 'Care not Killing'.
The debate in the Scottish parliament was robust and a free-vote was given to every member. The BBC reported:
Scottish Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said she was opposed to the bill, adding the Scottish government's view was that it did not support a change in the law.

She said: "I personally find myself particularly concerned and fundamentally concerned about the difficulty I think would always and inevitably be present in determining that someone choosing to end their life had not been subjected to undue influence."

During the debate, MSPs from all parties spoke out for and against the bill.

Labour MSP Michael McMahon described it as "dangerous and unnecessary", while the two Green MSPs - Robin Harper and Patrick Harvie - said current laws were unclear and "served nobody".

Lib Dem MSP Ross Finnie, who convened a special Holyrood committee set up to scrutinise the legislation reiterated its conclusion that it was "not persuaded that the case had been made to decriminalise the law of homicide as it applies to assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia".
The next big trial in the UK will be dealing with the Assisted Dying committee that has been established by Lord Falconer, that is being funded and funded by the assisted suicide lobby and operated by pro-assisted suicide politicians.

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