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Terminally ill ‘suffering in pain as they die’

Scottish report calls for assisted dying to be legalised

Eleven terminally-ill people in Scotland every week are suffering in pain as they die, campaigners have warned.

Dignity in Dying said that even with high levels of palliative care, hundreds of patients still had no relief from their pain at the end of life.

As part of research commissioned for the report, the Office of Health Economics concluded that even if every dying person who needed it had access to the level of care currently provided in hospices, 591 people in Scotland a year would still have no relief of their pain in the final three months of their life

The report recommends assisted dying is legalised in Scotland “to give terminally ill, mentally competent adults a further option of escaping or avoiding a period of unbearable suffering at the end of lives”.

But Dr Stuart Weir, national director at Christian charity CARE for Scotland, told BBC News the report muddies the waters by suggesting palliative care and assisted suicide are two sides of the same coin.

“The truth is that legalising assisted suicide goes right against the ethos of palliative care and in fact would undermine it,” he added.