Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Scottish politician claims assisted suicide bill doesn't legalize assisted suicide.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Yesterday I reported that Scotland will once again debate an "assisted dying" bill. I used the term "assisted dying" to reflect the terminology used by the media.

To my surprise, the Edinburgh news published an article today by Alex Cole-Hamilton, a Liberal Democrat Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) claiming that Scotland's assisted suicide bill doesn't legalize assisted suicide.

Cole-Hamilton is a supporter of the assisted suicide bill sponsored by Liam McArthur MSP who is also a Liberal Democrat.

Cole-Hamilton states in his article:
This isn’t assisted suicide, it won’t be available to people who want to die because they are depressed. To access it patients will require a terminal diagnosis, they will need to have full mental capacity and be assessed as competent by clinicians who are satisfied they aren’t being coerced by others.

The Oxford language dictionary defines assisted suicide as:

the suicide of a patient suffering from an incurable disease, effected by the taking of lethal drugs provided by a doctor for this purpose.

If you don't like the Oxford language dictionary, Wikipedia defines assisted suicide as:

The term usually refers to physician-assisted suicide (PAS), which is suicide that is assisted by a physician or other healthcare provider. Once it is determined that the person's situation qualifies under the physician-assisted suicide laws for that place, the physician's assistance is usually limited to writing a prescription for a lethal dose of drugs.

Cole-Hamilton is trying to change the language of the debate. Polls show that assisted dying receives a more favourable response as compared to the term assisted suicide. In other words, language matters.

Pam Duncan Clancy MSP
Yesterday, Andrew Learmonth reported for Holyrood.com news that:

Labour's Pam Duncan Glancy has warned that plans to bring in assisted dying in Scotland would be “dangerous for disabled people.”
Learmouth reported that Duncan Glancy MSP from Glasgow tweeted the following:
“I am deeply worried about this. Disabled people do not yet enjoy our right to live equally. I’d far rather we had a right to live enshrined in law, long before we have a right to die. Until all things are equal, this is dangerous for disabled people.”

 More articles on this topic:

  • Scotland to debate assisted dying bill (Link).
  • We treat all lives as equal. With assisted suicide we don't (Link).
  • Assisted suicide bill defeated in Scotland by an 82 to 36 vote (Link).


Nancy said...

Euthanasia is suicide !!!!!!!

Alex Schadenberg said...

Well Nancy, euthanasia is homicide, assisted suicide is assisting a suicide.