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Inquiry

The public call for written submissions closed on 12 May 2010.

The Committee received 601 written submissions in response to its call for evidence. The Committee considered these submissions when agreeing witnesses to be invited to give oral evidence as part of its Stage 1 consideration of the Bill.

The Committee took oral evidence on the Bill between 7 September and 5 October 2010. It published its Stage 1 report on the Bill on 18 November 2010. The Parliament debated the general principles of the Bill on 1 December 2010.

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On Wednesday 10 February 2010 the Scottish Parliament established an ad-hoc committee to consider the general principles of the End of Life Assistance (Scotland) Bill. The remit and membership of the Committee is set out below.

The End of Life Assistance (Scotland) Bill Committee launched a call for written evidence from all interested parties on the general principles of the End of Life Assistance (Scotland) Bill on Wednesday 3 March 2010. The call for evidence closed on Wednesday 12 May 2010.

This Bill was introduced in the Scottish Parliament by Margo Macdonald MSP on 20 January 2010.

The main purposes of the Bill were to—

  • permit assistance to be given by registered medical practitioners in Scotland to persons who wish to bring their own lives to an end (“an assisted death”);
  • establish who is eligible to receive an assisted death from a registered medical practitioner;
  • the process by which a person qualifies to receive an assisted death, and
  • the responsibilities and duties of the registered medical practitioner and of a registered medical practitioner who is a psychiatrist in response to a request for an assisted death.

For further information on the Bill and its accompanying documents, please see the webpage for the Bill

For Committee information, contact:

Seán Wixted: 0131 348 5410

Email: sean.wixted@scottish.parliament.uk

For further information, the media contact is:

Rosemary Gallagher: 0131 348 6245

E-mail: rosemary.gallagher@scottish.parliament.uk

For public information enquiries, contact: 0131 348 5000

For general enquiries, contact:

0845 278 1999 (local call rate)

email: sp.info@scottish.parliament.uk

Visit our website at: www.scottish.parliament.uk

End of Life Assistance (Scotland) Bill Committee

The Committee was established by the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday 10 February 2010 and disbanded on 2 December 2010.

The remit of the End of Life Assistance (Scotland) Bill Committee was to consider and report on the general principles of the End of Life Assistance (Scotland) Bill to the Scottish Parliament.

Membership: The Committee consisted of Ross Finnie MSP (Convener); Ian McKee MSP (Deputy Convener); Helen Eadie MSP; Michael Matheson MSP, Nannette Milne MSP and Cathie Peattie MSP;.

Policy on handling of information received in response to calls for evidence

This information lets you know how committees of the Scottish Parliament will deal with any information sent in response to calls for evidence and any subsequent correspondence.

Most people who submit evidence want it to be put in the public domain. In addition, the committees of the Scottish Parliament are committed to being open in their dealings in accordance with the Scottish Parliament’s founding principles.

Our normal practice is to publish all relevant evidence that is sent to us on our website and we may also include it in the hard copy of any committee report.

Therefore, if you wish your evidence to be treated as confidential, or for your evidence to be published anonymously, please contact the Clerk to the Committee, before you submit your evidence.

You should be aware that it is for the relevant committee to decide whether the evidence can be accepted on the basis that it will be seen in full by the committee but will not be published, or will be published in edited form or anonymously. See section on “Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002” below.

There are a few situations where we do not publish all the evidence sent to us. This may be for practical reasons: for example, where the number of submissions we receive does not make this possible or where we receive a large number of submissions in very similar terms. In that case, we would normally publish only a list of the names of people who have submitted evidence.

In addition, there may be a few situations where we may not choose to publish your evidence or have to edit it before publication for legal reasons.

Data Protection Act 1998

The Parliament must comply with the Data Protection Act 1998. This affects what information about living people (personal data and sensitive personal data) we can make public.

Your evidence may contain personal data or sensitive personal data relating to you. In line with our normal practice, we will usually publish it, if relevant to the inquiry. We will not, however, publish your signature or personal contact information arising in your private life (for example, your home telephone number or home address).

We may also have to edit information which can identify another living person who has not specifically given their consent to have information about them made public.

In these situations, committee members will have access to the full text of your evidence, even if it has not been published in full.

If you consider that evidence that you plan to submit may raise any other issues concerning the Data Protection Act, please contact the Clerk to the Committee before you submit your evidence.

Potentially defamatory material

Typically, the Parliament will not publish defamatory statements or material. If we think your submission contains potentially defamatory material, usually, we will return it to you with an invitation to substantiate the comments or remove them. In these circumstances if the evidence is returned to us and it still contains material which we consider may be defamatory, it may not be considered by the relevant committee and it may have to be destroyed.

Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

The Parliament is covered by the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. This also affects the way that we deal with your evidence.

As stated above, if you wish your evidence to be treated as confidential, or for your evidence to be published anonymously, please contact the Clerk to the Committee, before you submit your evidence.

In particular you should be aware that if we receive a request for information under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, we may be required legally to release the information to the person who has made the request – even where the relevant committee has agreed to treat all or part of the information in confidence or publish it anonymously.

So, in the circumstances outlined above, while we can assure you that your document / name will not be circulated to the general public in the context of the relevant committee’s current work, we are unable to give you a guarantee that the full document will never be released.



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