On behalf of the faith communities we represent, we wish to express our deep concern about the proposed Assisted Dying for Terminally Ill Adults (Scotland) Bill, which will shortly be considered by the Scottish Parliament. This Bill would make it legal, in certain circumstances, to help people to commit suicide.
Our faith traditions are united in the principle that assisted dying in itself inevitably undermines the dignity of the human person, and to allow it would mean that our society as a whole loses its common humanity.
We grieve with those who grieve and identify with those who suffer. We acknowledge the sincerely held motivation of those seeking change, but do not believe that this is the correct approach to the alleviation of suffering. There is a very real danger that once legalised, these practices could put pressure on vulnerable individuals to opt for assisted suicide.
The ways in which similar laws in other countries are being applied, and the effect that its introduction would have on some of the most vulnerable in our society, including the disabled and the elderly, would be extremely detrimental. We are called to care for those who are suffering, not to end their lives.
The Church of Scotland, the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, and the Scottish Association of Mosques remain firm in their opposition to assisted suicide and euthanasia.
We would call upon Members of the Scottish Parliament to consider carefully the implications of this Bill, to express their concerns, and to vote against it.