27 March 2008
Leading campaign group backs MSP’s wish to legalise assisted dying for the terminally ill
At a Scottish Parliament debate yesterday, veteran independent MSP Margo MacDonald, who has Parkinson’s disease, told fellow politicians that she would want the right to end her own life when her condition deteriorates.
Read the BBC coverage of the debate here.
Commenting on this event, Sarah Wootton, Chief Executive of Dignity in Dying, the leading campaign group in the UK campaigning for greater patient choice at the end of life, said:
“People who are terminally ill, mentally competent and suffering unbearably, should be given the option of medically assisted dying when their illness becomes too much to bear.
“The indignity that people can suffer as a result of some terminal diseases extends far beyond physical pain. Many suffer chronic breathlessness, severe choking and loss of movement. Even the best quality palliative care simply cannot alleviate these constant unbearable symptoms.
“It is time that society recognised that prolonging life is not always what the individual wants. Dying with dignity should be a fundamental right for all, and the option of assisted dying must be available to those who are terminally ill and mentally competent.”
Notes to editor
About Dignity in Dying
Dignity in Dying is the leading organisation in the UK that advocates assisted dying for terminally ill patients and campaigns for greater patient choice at the end of life.
The organisation is also the country’s leading provider in information on end-of-life issues.
Dignity in Dying has over 100,000 supporters and receives its funding entirely from donations from the public.
Opinion polls consistently show that at least 80% of the UK population support a change in the law on assisted dying.
An interview with Ashley Riley is available to download at https://www.dignityindying.org.uk/aboutus/.
For all media enquiries, please contact Jessica Tomlin on 020 7479 7736 or 07725 433025 or on Jessica.Tomlin@dignityindying.org.uk.