Scottish Parliament’s Cross-Party Group on End of Life Choices meeting

MDMD Associate Coordinator Colin Brewer represented MDMD at the Scottish Parliament’s Cross-Party Group on End of Life Choices. Here is his report…

We heard a good presentation by Dignity in Dying’s Scottish organiser on their excellent recent survey of people from Britain who approached Dignitas for assistance and the financial, legal and bureaucratic obstacles that some of them encountered in the process. (I presented my own, more modest, research in the same field at Euthanasia2016 – the international conference organised by the World Federation of Right to Die Societies in Amsterdam two years ago.) When I mentioned the importance of including early dementia among other slowly progressive conditions that should at least be discussed in any legislative proposals, the reaction was interesting. Several people applauded or nodded vigorous approval and some later spoke in favour of the idea. Others, while apparently not unsympathetic, were worried that even mentioning dementia would make legislation even more difficult to pass. I noted that in Oregon and Canada, dementia is now up for discussion as an approved addition to the present categories. MDMD looks forward to contributing to Westminster’s equivalent group in the near future.

MDMD believe discussion of dementia is particularly important now that it is the largest cause of death in England and Wales, and many more people die with it, rather than of it.