Scotland's National Catholic magazine

Assisted suicide ‘attacks human dignity’ say Bishops

Scotland’s Catholic bishops have called assisted suicide an attack on human dignity as they oppose a proposed law to legalise the practice.

In a submission to the consultation on assisted suicide proposed by Liam McArthur MSP, Anthony Horan, director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office, said:

“Assisted suicide attacks human dignity and is based on the mistaken belief that individuals can lose their value and worth.

“The state should support the provision of care, not the deliberate killing, of those at the end of life.

“Apart from the fact that assisted suicide undermines efforts to prevent suicide and sends a message that suicide is sometimes appropriate it sends a clear message to frail, elderly and disabled Scots about the value that society places on them and puts pressure on them to end their lives for fear of being a financial, emotional or care burden on others. This is intolerable and utterly wrong.

“No matter how well intentioned the safeguards are, it is impossible for any government to draft assisted suicide laws which include legal protection from future expansion of those laws.

“The slippery slope is real and dangerous. MSPs should be preventing suicide, not assisting it by introducing a dangerous law with deadly and irreparable consequences.”

The proposed law would allow ‘mentally competent adults who are terminally ill’ to legally commit suicide with the help of medical services.

The proposal has been met with harsh opposition from the Church and pro-life advocacy groups.

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