Intended for healthcare professionals


Scotland moves a step closer to legalising assisted dying

BMJ 2024; 384 doi: (Published 28 March 2024) Cite this as: BMJ 2024;384:q773
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. London

A step towards potentially legalising assisted dying in Scotland has taken place with the formal introduction of a bill to the Scottish parliament on 27 March.

If the Assisted Dying for Terminally Ill Adults (Scotland) Bill1 is passed it will represent the first time that dying people in the UK can legally choose assisted dying if they meet eligibility criteria.

The bill has prompted criticism from some parts of the medical profession, disability and human rights groups, and some religious groups, with concerns that a change in the law would put pressure on vulnerable people to end their lives for fear of being a financial, emotional, or care burden on others.

The private members’ bill, drafted by Liberal Democrat MSP for Orkney Islands Liam McArthur, will now be subject to committee scrutiny …

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