A MAJORITY of North-east MSPs have voted against plans to legalise assisted suicide.
The Assisted Suicide Bill was launched by independent MSP Margo MacDonald before her death from Parkinsons Disease last year.
Green MSP Patrick Harvie has taken on the bill, which he believes would give terminally ill patients the right to request an end to intolerable suffering.
But a debate on the issue at the Scottish Parliament saw few MSPs backing the plans.
Aberdeenshire West’s Dennis Robertson said he wanted to support the bill but did not feel adequate safeguards were in the bill as it stands.
He said: “It was my intention to support the bill at stage one in order that it was given the opportunity for amendments to be brought forward to introduce some of the safeguards which are not in the bill at the moment.
“However, the member in charge of the bill did not provide me with the assurances I was seeking.
“I therefore am now minded not to support the bill but will do everything I can to ensure that there is better end of life support for those individuals who are suffering and wish to die with respect and dignity.”
Christian Allard, SNP, said he could not support a bill that outlined what a crime was not instead of what a crime is.
Angus North and Mearns’ Nigel Don, SNP, voted against the bill, as did Nanette Milne, Conservative, and Banff and Buchan’s Stewart Stevenson, SNP.
Mr Stevenson said: “For me, if doctors become actively involved in ending life, their relationship with the living is diminished and on that basis I cannot support this measure.”
Lewis Macdonald, Labour, also voted against it.
Aberdeen Donside’s Mark McDonald, SNP, Aberdeen Central’s Kevin Stewart, SNP, and Moray’s Richard Lochhead, SNP, supported the bill at stage one. Alison McInnes, Lib Dem and Aberdeen South’s Richard Baker and North Kincardine’s Maureen Watt, SNP voted against.