Campaigners fighting for assisted suicide to be legalised in Scotland will today hand over a 2,500-signature petition to the MSP leading the charge.
Representatives from a group called My Life, My Death, My Choice are expected to urge Green MSP Patrick Harvie to finish what former independent MSP Margo MacDonald started before her death in April.
The deadline for submissions to Holyrood’s health and sport committee’s consultation on the Assisted Suicide (Scotland) Bill closes on Friday.
The Scottish Government and faith groups such as the Church of Scotland, Catholic Church and Free Church of Scotland do not support the controversial legislation but MSPs will be given a free vote.
The My Life, My Death, My Choice campaign was launched at the beginning of the year after an opinion poll showed 69% of people want the bill to become law.
Group spokeswoman Shelia Duffy said: “Even with the excellent palliative care available in Scotland, a small number of patients are unable to have their intolerable suffering relieved.
“We want to ensure that people are provided with appropriate information to make their own, individual, choices and, in certain limited circumstances, given assistance to end their life.”
Speaking at the launch of her bill last November, Ms MacDonald, who suffered from Parkinson’s disease, claimed she had learned lessons from her failed first attempt to promote such legislation in 2010.
She said her new proposals contained safeguards to protect all those involved in the process.
But the Law Society of Scotland has said more definition and clarity is needed.
It has warned that the Bill lacks a clear definition of what assisted suicide is, what it is to assist suicide and what the role of a licensed facilitator would actually be.
The organisation said there were also questions over proposed time limits between a request for an assisted suicide and when it could be legally carried out – and the fact that a 16-year-old could be helped by another person of that age.
Alison Britton, convener of the society’s health and medical law committee, said: “If this legislation is to pass then it needs to be clear and unambiguous in what it allows and what it does not.
“As things stand, there are still too many areas for potential confusion.”