21 January 2010

Margo introduces assisted dying Bill...

The End of Life Assistance (Scotland) Bill (as it is now styled) was introduced by Margo MacDonald in the Scottish Parliament this morning. The BBC has some compelling footage of Margo, explaining her views. An index of relevant legislative materials is to be got here. A copy of the bill as introduced may be consulted here. Also, civil servants have produced an explanatory commentary on the proposed sections and an extensive policy memorandum alongside. On page fifteen of the explanatory notes, we also find the Presiding Officer’s statement on the legality of the proposed measure, Alex Fergusson rebuffing previous attempts by Care Not Killing to squelch discussion of the Bill on the shoogliest of legal bases, that it is beyond the competence of Holyrood under the Scotland Act. Not so, said Fergusson –

“In my view, the provisions of the End of Life Assistance (Scotland) Bill would be within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament.”
I’m a trifle busy this afternoon, so have only been able to snatch the quickest of glances through the documents, in particular the accompanying policy discussion and the arguments adduced therein (and equally significantly, what arguments are not made). This is a theme to which I have the firm intention of returning to in the near future.

For those of you who may not have stumbled across my previous analyses of the subject, both politically and legally, there is reams and reams of prose on point to be found in this category.

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