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Agenda: Why, as a physician, I oppose assisted dying

I AM a palliative care specialist and I believe Scotland must not introduce assisted dying.

Palliative care aims to give people with life-limiting illness the best possible quality of life. As a palliative care doctor I help people live, not die, and am taken aback by MSP Liam McArthur’s Assisted Dying Bill. He thinks assisted dying is complementary to palliative care. Like many other trainee palliative medical consultants, I want no part in assisted dying.

The proposal is for the doctor to prescribe lethal medication to a terminally ill patient to enable them to take their own life. I fear some may be misled to believe a change in law is needed for people with terminal illness to ask for chemotherapy to be withdrawn or refuse cardiopulmonary resuscitation. These choices are already legal.

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