MSP hails ‘unprecedented’ response to assisted dying consultation

Orkney MSP Liam McArthur believes that there is 'strong support' for a change in the law.

MSP hails ‘unprecedented’ response to assisted dying consultation iStock

A MSP has praised the “unprecedented response” a consultation into legalising assisted dying for terminally ill adults has received.

Liam McArthur launched the public consultation on his proposal for a new members bill which seeks to change the law.

The Lib Dem MSP for Orkney says he is grateful to anyone who took time to submit their views on the proposal looking to end a “blanket ban”.

And he says he is particularly thankful to respondents who “recounted deeply personal and often harrowing experiences”.

The consultation, which closed on Wednesday, detailed the proposals for a bill seeking to legalise assisted dying as a choice for terminally ill, mentally competent adults in Scotland.

The Scottish Parliament Non-Government Bills Unit is now working alongside McArthur to process the consultation outcome.

He said: “I am grateful to everyone who took the time to submit their views on my proposals for ending the blanket ban on assisted dying in Scotland.

“I am especially grateful to all those who recounted deeply personal and often harrowing experiences which cannot have been easy to recall.

McArthur also says that he believes the signs so far show a “strong support” for a change in the law.

He said: “The level of response has been unprecedented and shows that assisted dying is an issue that matters to people across the country.

“While it will take some time to validate and process responses, it appears there is strong support for a change in the law and a desire to see the Scottish Parliament take action.

“A range of views have been expressed in the responses with a number of suggestions made.

“It is especially important that we get this legislation right in terms of both compassion and safety and the public consultation was the first stage in this process.

“When I launched the proposals earlier this year I said that how we die is an issue for our whole society and that the consultation was in effect a nationwide discussion on what we need to do to give dying people the help and support they need to have a good death.

“There is clearly an appetite for that discussion and I look forward to continuing it with the public and within the Parliament over the months ahead.”