Assisted Suicide (Scotland) Bill


Stage 1 scrutiny by the Health and Sport Committee

This page covers consideration of the Bill at Stage 1 only.  The Bill and accompanying documents, together with supporting information can be read on the Assisted Suicide (Scotland) Bill webpage.

The stated policy objective of the Bill is to enable:

"people with terminal or life-shortening illnesses or progressive conditions which are terminal or life-shortening and who wish to end their own lives to obtain assistance in doing so. It does this by removing criminal and civil liability from those who provide such assistance provided that the procedure set out in the Bill is followed. This procedure for accessing a lawful assisted suicide is designed to ensure that the individual seeking it meets the Bill’s eligibility criteria, has made his or her own informed decision to end his or her life and has had the opportunity to reflect before moving forward at key stages."


The Committee published its report on 30 April 2015.

The Member in Charge of the Bill responded on 21 May 2015.

The Stage 1 debate will be held on Wednesday 27 May 2015.


Please note that following the death of Margo MacDonald, Patrick Harvie MSP, as an additional Member in Charge of the Bill, will continue its progress through the Parliament in the normal way. Standing Orders provide for the member who introduces a Bill to designate an additional 'Member in Charge'.

The Committee published a call for written evidence. 
Read the Call for Evidence

The call for written evidence closed on Friday 6 June 2014
Submissions received for Assisted Suicide (Scotland) Bill

On 25 September 2014 the Committee published analysis of the submissions of evidence.

The Committee has taken oral evidence from the following individuals and organisations on the dates below:

13 January 2015

Legal professions: Faculty of Advocates; Law Society of Scotland; Police Scotland; Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.

Medical professions: Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (Glasgow); Royal College of Psychiatrists; Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

20 January 2015

Ethical issues: Living and Dying Well; Mason Institute; Anscombe Bioethics Centre; Scottish Council for Human Bioethics; Dr Stephen W Smith.
27 January
Palliative care specialists: Dr Stephen Hutchison; Dr David Jeffrey; Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care; Marie Curie Cancer Care; Children’s Hospice Association Scotland and Professor Baroness Finlay.

Faith groups: Church of Scotland Church and Society Council; Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Scotland; Free Church of Scotland; Faith and Order Board of the General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church; Muslim Council of Scotland; Scottish Council of Jewish Communities.

3 February

Campaign/Interest groups: Friends At The End; My Life, My Death, My Choice; Humanist Society of Scotland; CARE for Scotland; Care Not Killing.

Groups representing people with disabilities and long-term conditions: Inclusion Scotland; Scottish Youth Alliance; BMA Scotland.

Professor Sheila McLean.

17 February


The Parliament agreed at its meeting on 31 March 2015 to extend consideration of the Assisted Suicide (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 to 29 May 2015.

Work By Other Committees

Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee Report on the Assisted Suicide (Scotland) Bill at stage 1. 

Letter from the Convener of the Delegated Powers Committee to the Convener (249KB pdf)

Justice Committee: Report to the Health and Sport Committee on the Assisted Suicide (Scotland) Bill

Finance Committee’s call for evidence on Assisted Suicide (Scotland) Bill Financial Memorandum

Additional Information

The Committee decided at its meeting on 4 February 2014 to appoint Dr Mary Neal of the University of Strathclyde as its adviser in order to assist in scrutiny of the Bill.