Care Not Killing met with palliative care experts in Glasgow...
Care Not Killing exhibited at this year's Palliative Care Congress in Glasgow. We gathered support from very many of the hundreds of the palliative care experts who attended from across the UK and overseas.
In addition, Care Not Killing Scotland welcomed a number of the delegates to an awareness-raising meeting...
Dr John Wiles, London-based palliative care consultant and Care Not Killing spokesperson, recalled events leading up to the defeat of the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill (Joffe Bill), which would have seen voluntary PAS for terminally ill adults legalised in England and Wales. Due in part to strategic campaigning by CNK, the Joffe Bill was defeated by 148-100 votes at Second Reading in the House of Lords on 12th May 2006.
Scottish PAS threat
Legalisation of PAS in Scotland would pose a threat to patients all over the United Kingdom as suicide tourism could easily become an unwelcome reality. Gordon Macdonald, Public Policy Officer for Care Not Killing Scotland, reviewed the 2004 proposal by Jeremy Purvis MSP to legalise PAS in Scotland his Dying with Dignity Bill. Although he did not receive enough support from fellow MSPs in 2004, Purvis announced his intention of bringing his bill back – a move that is much more straightforward and streamlined in Holyrood than in Westminster as only 19 signatures and 65 votes are required for a Scottish Bill to become law.
This year Purvis succeeded in raising a motion on the issue for debate. Despite only three MSPs speaking in favour of the motion, there was a largely positive, emotive press response. Coverage centred around MSP Margo Macdonald's speech in which she revealed that she was considering PAS as an option for her Parkinson's disease. She has since announced her intention of visiting Dignitas on a fact-finding mission.
The Association for Palliative Medicine, which represents UK palliative care professionals across the UK and Ireland, is a key member of our Alliance. These doctors and nurses have immense expertise in end-of-life care – their opinions about PAS should be recognised and respected as those of experts.