A MAYBOLE disability rights activist is urging local people to join the fight for an assisted dying law in Scotland.

Sarah Anderson , 41, is leading the fight for a law to be introduced as the leader of Ayrshire’s Dignity in Dying group.

As a disabled person and advocate for disability rights, Sarah is passionate about ensuring that terminally ill people in Scotland have control over their deaths.

Dignity in Dying Ayrshire will hold their inaugural meeting on Zoom, on Thursday April 15, at 6.30pm.

Ayrshire residents hope to demonstrate that assisted dying is a key election issue for them.

Sarah says: “Having worked in the care profession and having watched many loved ones die due to terminal illness, I genuinely believe there has to be a more compassionate way for end-of-life care.

“The current system, where our loved ones are slowly starved to death, is barbaric for both the individual and their loved ones to watch.

“As a disabled individual I want to have the right to determine my own death, should I become terminally ill, in a manner which is kind and does not add to the trauma involved. I think we owe that to individuals in a civilized and caring society.”

The law currently states that assisted dying is prohibited in England and Wales under the Suicide Act (1961), and in Northern Ireland under the Criminal Justice Act (1966) which states that anyone who “encourages or assists a suicide” is liable to up to 14 years in prison.

There is no specific crime of assisting a suicide in Scotland, but it is possible that helping a person to die could lead to prosecution for

culpable homicide, reckless endangerment or even murder.

In the past six months, New Zealand, Spain and Tasmania have voted to give their citizens the choice of an assisted death.

But Dr Gordon Macdonald, chief executive of Care Not Killing, has previously gone on the record as saying:“Changing the law would remove universal protections and send out a message that the lives of the terminally ill and disabled people are less worthy of protection than others.”

Frances McFadden, Campaigns and Operations Officer for Dignity in Dying Scotland says: “Ayrshire residents can play their part to advocate for change by joining the inaugural meeting on Thursday, April 15.”

You can take part by contacting scotland.campaigns@dignityindying.org.uk