The following letter was written by Aidan Cook, the Campaign Director for the Care Not Killing Alliance in Scotland and published in the Herald Scotland.
ie: Malcolm Allan (Letters, November 15) argues that assisted suicide is not killing.
Quite simply, to deliberately bring about someone's death is to kill. Modern law and opinion is clear that to kill has a much broader sense than simply pulling the trigger. With assisted suicide, we as a society, and the individuals involved, would be bringing about the death of those whose lives we see to have no value.
John Black (Letters, November 15) is wrong to suggest that this is a boundary society crossed long ago. While some countries have introduced assisted suicide or euthanasia, Scotland has not, nor have the vast majority of societies.
He is also mistaken in suggesting that the criteria for assisted suicide in Margo MacDonald's bill are "carefully defined". Indeed, Ms MacDonald is clear that she is deliberately not defining the medical conditions. Moreover, the additional condition that the person find their quality of life unacceptable could hardly be less clearly defined.
Assisted suicide is killing and as such would cross a fundamental boundary with untold consequences for our society. That the conditions are so ill-defined points to the incremental extension of any legislation, an extension Ms MacDonald acknowledges in her policy memorandum. True compassion is found in good care, not in killing.
Care Not Killing Scotland,