Readers' letters: Humanists welcome assisted dying bill

" People at the end of their life need to be listened to and have their choices respected”

Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 7:00 am
Liam McArthur has put forward the new assisted dying bill.

Humanists welcome assisted dying bill

Humanist Society Scotland warmly welcomes the Members’ Bill proposal lodged, by Liam McArthur MSP.

The new proposed legislation would help deliver a key ask of Humanist Society Scotland's long running Last Rights campaign, which seeks a more humane and dignified death for people in Scotland.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The bill would legalise assisted dying as a choice for terminally ill, mentally competent adults, a change supported by 87 per cent of the Scottish public.

People at the end of their life need to be listened to and have their choices respected. The current practice of ignoring the demand for assisted dying at home but allowing people well and rich enough to travel to a private clinic abroad is simply immoral and without a shred of compassion.

Given the overwhelming weight of public opinion is on the side of change, we think it is the right time for the Scottish Parliament to consider this issue. Scotland is able to learn from many countries around the world who have passed safe, dignified and properly regulated assisted dying laws.”

Fraser Sutherland, chief executive of Humanist Society Scotland.

Tempting ploy for more wind turbines

Fiona Ainslie asks why no compensation is available to wind farm neighbours who are directly affected by a development. (letters 19 June).

The difference (in terms of compensation rights) between people living near a proposed high speed rail link or motorway and those near windfarms comes down to whether the developments are classified as "public works" and whether compulsory purchase order powers apply. The Scottish government has no powers under energy regulation to direct developers to pay compensation.

Having just attended the International Conference on Wind Turbine Noise, I can reveal, however, that more developers are likely to offer compensation in the future.

As suitable wind farm sites become more difficult to find and turbine heights increase, they need to come up with ingenious ways of making them more acceptable to neighbours.

Financial incentives are the obvious choice and appeal to some people. In the event they offer to buy you out, just remember, it allows them to put up even more turbines!

Be careful what you wish for and always consult a lawyer and your sense of morality before you sign anything.

Aileen Jackson, Knockglass, Uplawmoor.

SNP not using the powers it has

Shona Robison, social justice secretary, wants the Scottish government to be assigned more powers to tackle Scotland’s poor record on poverty.

This is a record the SNP has had 14 years to improve, but failed to do so, with its preference for universal rather than targeted benefits and concentration on constitutional issues and various failed economic projects.

Experts tell us that the Scottish government already has the powers it requires to alleviate poverty, but that it fails to use them.

There is an obvious reason for this. The last thing the SNP wants is to improve people’s living conditions. If the devolved Scottish administration improved conditions under the current settlement, it would undermine its claim that Scotland ‘needs’ to leave the UK in order to thrive.

The priority given to separatism holds the government back from attempting to improve life for Scots.

Jill Stephenson, Glenlockhart Valley, Edinburgh.