Toby Porter, CEO of Hospice UK says: The hospice sector in Scotland will need to take the time to digest the detail of what is being proposed in today’s draft Bill on assisted dying. Whatever your view on assisted dying, there are a huge number of complex issues and practicalities to consider. It is critical that these are fully understood and carefully considered in what can be a polarised debate.

Hospice UK’s role is not to support or oppose a change in the law, but to ensure that hospices, and those working in them, can bring their expertise and experience to this important and emotive discussion.

Universal, appropriate, and high-quality palliative care for all must be a priority regardless of any decision on changing the law. Hospices provide expert care that helps people to have comfort and dignity at the end of their lives. But demand for palliative care is growing quickly, and so hospices must be supported to make sure everyone can get the care they need, when they need it.