McArthur to lead cross party delegation to learn about the assisted dying legislation in California

9 Feb 2024
Liam McArthur MSP

On Friday, Liam McArthur MSP will lead a cross party delegation, with a range of views on assisted dying, to California where they will meet with legislators, senior doctors including palliative care physicians and families with experience of crafting, implementing, and utilising the state's 2016 End of Life Options Act.

On the five-day trip, organised by campaign group Dignity in Dying Scotland, Mr McArthur will be joined by cross party MSP colleagues, Kaukab Stewart (SNP), Miles Briggs (Scottish Conservatives) and Colin Smyth (Scottish Labour).

The MSPs will meet with doctors with experience of assisted dying and palliative care, state senators including the lead author and co-author of the End of Life Options Act as well as with families where a loved one has had an assisted death.

Speaking ahead of the trip Mr McArthur said:

"This trip is an opportunity for MSPs to engage with those with first-hand experience of assisted dying, from the legislators who brought it to fruition, to the doctors who support patients in making their choices and most importantly, the families of those who have been through the process. It will also present an opportunity for parliamentarians to see how California has ensured that the option of an assisted death can sit alongside excellent palliative care.”

“The End of Life Options Act in California works along similar lines to the Bill I will present to Parliament. It is for terminally ill, mentally competent adults only, and has a range of safeguards including self-administration of prescribed medication by the patient themselves.”

"Public polling and the consultation on my bill showed that there is overwhelming support for my proposals. I hope that this visit helps inform the debate we will have in the Scottish Parliament in due course."