MSPs to scrutinise assisted suicide bill today

MSPs to scrutinise assisted suicide bill today

Proposals to legalise assisted suicide will today be scrutinised by MSPs on the health and sport committee.

The Assisted Suicide (Scotland) Bill is at stage one of the parliamentary scrutiny process and the nine MSPs on the health and sport committee will begin their scrutiny by questioning the legal and medical professions on their view of the proposals.

At their meeting today, the committee will hear from the Faculty of Advocates, the Law Society of Scotland, Police Scotland and the Crown Office.

They will then question the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Glasgow, the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Scotland and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Scotland.

Convener of the health and sport committee, Duncan McNeil MSP said: “MSPs have a duty to scrutinise the detail behind any proposed piece of legislation, but given that this bill adjudicates on life and death, it is imperative that we robustly and transparently scrutinise what is being proposed.

“Our committee has already received the views of over 800 people and will now start over two months of evidence, hearing from those with knowledge, expertise and interest in how the proposed bill would operate in practice.

“I want to make clear that all MSPs on the committee will consider the evidence in front of them, question robustly our witnesses and consider carefully the implications before we reach a committee view.”

Deputy convener of the committee, Bob Doris MSP said: “This legislation has the potential to polarise opinion on both sides of the debate, and as a Committee we understand the strength of feeling that these proposals generate.

“However, it is our job as a committee to approach this subject without prejudice, take a detailed look at the proposals and consider both the written and oral evidence before taking a committee view on any change in the law.”

At its meeting today the committee will hear from the following witnesses from the legal profession:

  • David Stephenson QC, the Faculty of Advocates;
  • Professor Alison Britton, convenor of the society health and medical law committee, and Coral Riddell, head of professional practice for the Law Society of Scotland;
  • Gary Flannigan, detective chief superintendent, Police Scotland;
  • Stephen McGowan, procurator fiscal, major crime and fatalities investigation, Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service
  • Share icon
    Share this article: