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Calls for assisted dying support come from D&G residents

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By Charles Fletcher
Front
Calls for assisted dying support come from D&G residents

A GROUP of terminally ill people in the South of Scotland is calling for support on assisted dying.

The heartfelt message comes in an open letter to their MSPs across the region.

The authors want backing for proposed legislation bringing forward the Assisted Dying for Terminally Ill Adults Bill in the Scottish Parliament.

The proposed Bill seeks to legalise assisted dying for terminally ill, mentally competent Scots.

One of the signatories is Gerald Sutherland, who lives in Kirkinner.

He was diagnosed with motor neurone disease two years ago and is clear now is the time for the Scottish Parliament to act.

“Society wants this change, and MSPs should be listening to the wishes of their constituents who voted for them,” Mr Sutherland told the Dumfries Courier.

“I have always believed it is a person’s right to choose how and when they end their life. We make decisions all our life but this one is taken from us.”

He said his wife is fully supportive.

The proposed bill has safeguards to protect vulnerable people.

Mr Sutherland added: “I myself am very clear on what I do and don’t want.

“I got a DNR (do not resuscitate order) as soon as I was diagnosed, but this is not the same as having the choice of an assisted death.”

Frances McFadden is the campaigns and operations officer for Dignity in Dying Scotland.

She said: “Terminally ill Scots should be enjoying their lives with their loved ones, not worrying about suffering a painful and protracted death.”

This is the third time there have been moves at the Scottish Parliament to make assisted dying part of the law.

Initially led by the Independent MSP Margo MacDonald, it was then followed up by Green MSP Patrick Harvie following her death.

Both failed to get parliamentary approval for the proposal.

The current move is being promoted by Liam McArthur, LibDem MSP for Orkney.

The proposal is currently open to public consultation and comments at www.parliament.scot until December 22.

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