Assisted suicide law bid defeated

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Margo MacDonald's bid over assisted suicide has failed

An attempt to make Scotland the first part of the UK to legalise assisted suicide has been defeated.

The controversial End of Life Assistance Bill was voted down by MSPs at Holyrood, despite claims that a majority of the public back such a move.

The legislation was put forward by veteran politician Margo MacDonald, a former Scottish National Party MP, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease.

Following the vote, she said: “The outcome wasn’t any different from what I expected.

“A few people continued to say we shouldn’t even debate it in this Parliament. That is what Parliament is for.

“Of course Parliament’s will must be respected but Parliament’s will can change.

“If I stand next time, if I am elected next time, people will know without any doubt I am going to pursue the idea.”

Ms MacDonald, an Independent Lothians MSP, failed to secure the necessary support to pass the controversial legislation, losing in a 16-85 free vote.

The Bill had been considered by a specially-convened Holyrood committee, which did not support the general principles.

The legislation set out that anyone aged over 16 can request help to die. The person would have to be diagnosed as terminally ill and find life intolerable.

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