The bishops of Scotland say Catholics must urge their MSPs to reject the recently published assisted suicide proposals.

They make the call in a pastoral letter that will be read out in all of Scotland’s 460 Catholic parishes, at all Masses on 27 & 28 April.

The bishops describe the proposal put forward by Liam McArthur MSP, as “dangerous".

They call on MSPs to focus their energies on improving palliative care which the bishops say is “underfunded and limited”.

When vulnerable people express concerns about being a burden, the appropriate response is not to suggest that they have a duty to die.

The letter states, that a law which “allows us to kill our brothers and sisters takes us down a dangerous spiral that always puts at risk the most vulnerable members of our society, including the elderly, and disabled, and those who struggle with mental health”.

The letter cites evidence from other jurisdictions where assisted suicide is legal, including Oregon, where consistently around half of people who choose assisted suicide do so because they feel they are a burden on their families or on their communities and healthcare system.

“When vulnerable people, including the elderly and disabled, express concerns about being a burden”, say the bishops, “the appropriate response is not to suggest that they have a duty to die; rather, it is to commit to meeting their needs and providing the care and compassion they need to help them live”.

The bishops point out: “When our society is already marked by so many inequalities, we do not need assisted suicide to put intolerable pressure on our most disadvantaged who do not have a voice in this debate.”

Please contact your MSP today to stop assisted suicide becoming legal in Scotland. Guidance on contacting your MSPs is available at, or email for more information.