Readers' letters: Church is misleading on assisted dying

I supported the sadly unsuccessful attempts by Margo MacDonald MSP to legalise assisted dying and back the Assisted Dying for Terminally Ill Adults (Scotland) Bill currently being considered by the Scottish Parliament.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 23rd December 2021, 7:00 am
Margo MacDonald campaigned for an assisted dying bill in Scotland
Margo MacDonald campaigned for an assisted dying bill in Scotland

In May my eldest brother died of bladder cancer. He went through a horrendous last few months including agonising round journeys of over 120 miles for regular treatment sessions.

In his last weeks he received the best available palliative care in a charity-run hospice near his home. However, many of those close to him at the time have told me they would much prefer the option to avoid those last few days of undignified, drugged confusion and suffering.

I couldn’t attend my brother’s funeral as I am also being treated for aggressive bladder cancer. When my time to die comes I want the choice to avoid those last days of suffering.

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Currently in this country you can be prosecuted for cruelty for denying a pet a pain-free death, yet to be granted a similar dignified departure you have to be wealthy enough to use a private clinic in a more enlightened country. You must also be fit enough to make the trip, meaning you may end your life far from your family and weeks before you want to.

I resent the way the Catholic Church has manipulated followers in a bid to stop the current Bill becoming law. On 29 November Anthony Horan, director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office, called on Catholics to take action to “ … reject the legalisation of the deliberate killing of vulnerable individuals..”.

That is totally misleading and calculated to scare people. The Bill has several levels of protection to ensure only those who genuinely wish to avoid end of life suffering will be able to use the new legislation.

John F Robins, Dumbarton.

Government cash is not for independence

Jane Lax (letters, 20 December) obviously didn’t notice that Tory MSP Stephen Kerr deleted his false information that the Scottish Government is spending £350 million on independence.

Angus Robertson’s department will receive £350m towards, culture and events, the National Records of Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, external affairs and some Covid-19 funding.

Also, it is the UK Government that is increasing National Insurance by 10 per cent next year while Scotland was the only part of the UK to offer 100 per cent relief last year to the retail and hospitality sectors.

This was done without any consequential funding as the UK Chancellor removed rates relief for those businesses.

Before Daniel Johnson makes outrageous claims that Nicola Sturgeon is keen to find a new grievance on Covid funding (Evening News, 20 December), he should speak to the Labour First Minister of Wales and the Unionist leaders of Northern Ireland who make exactly the same points about Tory spin over so-called extra funding that needs to be repaid.

Until Scotland has the borrowing powers of a normal country, our government can’t properly protect health and fully compensate businesses for their losses when required.

Mary Thomas, Edinburgh.

Who’s right?

In the Evening News on Tuesday, Patrick Harvie MSP announced proposals and a new public consultation for possible additional tenants’ rights.

In her column on the same day Lorna Slater MSP confirmed that these same rights had been agreed and were being brought into force. Is this further proof that the outcome has been decided before a consultation takes place?

Alastair Murray, Edinburgh.