69% of Scots back assisted suicide

Seven in ten Scots support assisted suicide for those with chronic illnesses, according to a new poll.

A Panelbase survey of 1000 voters found that 69 per cent of the public are in favour of allowing sufferers of diseases such as multiple sclerosis and cancer to get medical help to end their lives. The poll coincides with a second attempt by the MSP Margo MacDonald to change the law to allow assisted dying free from prosecution in Scotland.

It also found that 76 per cent of people believe relatives should be able to help loved ones with a terminal illness to die without the threat of jail.

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Ms MacDonald said: “If you believe in the autonomy of the patient it is very difficult to decry the notion of their being able to ask for assistance to end a life that had become intolerable to them.”