Nurse tells The Scotsman that legislators should focus on end-of-life care not euthanasia. She says “Compassionate assisted dying goes on every day in our hospitals and care homes” and should be better resourced. Changing the law would make more funding less likely and “be a dreadful mistake.”

Dec 4, 2022 | News

The report from Marie Curie headed “Terminally ill dying in pain out of hours” (Scotsman, 29 November) highlighted the urgent need for a fully resourced palliative care system with appropriately trained staff and not legislation for assisted death. The report led to this letter to The Scotsman

Compassionate assisted dying goes on every day in our hospitals, care homes, and in the community, but could be delivered more efficiently and appropriately if there was a fully funded palliative care system in place. If there was, Liam McArthur’s Bill on Assisted Dying would not be needed.

What a dreadful mistake it would be if legalising assisted death (not dying) were to succeed while experience in many other countries was ignored.

There have been many reports from Canada and other European countries of increasingly easing the conditions to carry out legally assisted death. Is this what Scotland really wants? Surely it would be better to offer appropriate end-of-life care as the doctors, especially palliative care doctors, nurses, and care staff have made clear in hundreds, if not thousands, of letters to the press and MSPs.

As a retired nurse with over 50 years of experience, including end-of-life care, I oppose the proposed Bill on professional, personal, ethical, spiritual, and moral grounds. I implore MSPs to review their stance whatever it has been and not support the Bill.

Pamala McDougall, Inverkeilor, Angus

Lord David Alton

For 18 years David Alton was a Member of the House of Commons and today he is an Independent Crossbench Life Peer in the UK House of Lords.

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