Hundreds of health care professionals from various specialities have signed a letter to Health Secretary Humza Yousaf criticising an assisted dying law in Scotland.

The letter was sent as part of a campaign by Our Duty of Care (ODOC) and includes signatures from David Galloway, former president of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow and Professor Marie Fallon, a palliative medicine expert.

“We write with great concern regarding the introduction of a bill to legalise assisted suicide in Scotland. The shift from preserving life to taking life is enormous and should not be minimised. The prohibition of killing is present in almost all civilised societies due the immeasurable worth of every human life.

“Everyone has a right to life under Article 1 of the Human Rights Act 1998 such that no one should be deprived of that life intentionally. Some patients may never consider assisted suicide unless it was suggested to them. The cruel irony of this path is that legislation introduced with the good intention of enhancing patient choice will diminish the choices of the most vulnerable.

“As health care professionals, we have a legal duty of care for the safety and wellbeing of our patients. We the undersigned will not take patients’ lives – even if they ask us to. But for the sake of us all, we ask that the law remains unchanged.”

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