A Liberal Democrat MSP has won the right to introduce legislation to the Scottish Parliament which would give competent terminally ill people the right to assisted dying.

Liam McArthur, MSP for Orkney, has gained cross-party support from 36 MSPs and will introduce the bill early next year.

The Scottish Parliamentarian thanked those who put their name behind the bill, saying the support received from his colleagues is "deeply heartening."

He added: "The Scottish public has long been ahead of the parliament on this issue. The public consultation on these proposals, published last month, demonstrated that there is strong and passionate support for offering people more choice at the end of their life."

Previously, 14,038 people took part in a public consultation on the proposal which found three-quarters in support of the measure.

What is assisted dying?

Assisted dying proposes that competent terminally ill people should have a say over how they die.

The proposal being put before Holyrood would require two doctors to confirm a patient was terminally ill, determine the person is mentally fit to make a judgment about the decision, and ensure they are not being pressured into seeking assisted suicide.

What is the purpose of the Assisted Dying Bill?

The Assisted Dying for Terminally Ill Adults (Scotland) Bill aims to give people near the end of their life a say over how they die.

Advocates argue it gives people more agency and could lead to less suffering for those with little to no chance of recovery.

Campaign group, Dignity in Dying says that "a safe and compassionate assisted dying law is a law that’s time has come."

Criticisms of assisted dying legislation

Some have criticised assisted dying legislation as a risk to vulnerable people and have argued it could lead to patients being coerced into accepting assisted suicide.

Organisations like the Church of Scotland have opposed a change in the law, stating in a consultation response: "This would have profound effects on how society regards those in our communities who are vulnerable.

"This is not just the elderly and infirm, but also those with disabilities, and those who are unable to speak up to protect themselves."

Where is physician-assisted death legal in the world?

Assisted dying is legal in six countries around the globe.

This is the case in Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Canada, and Switzerland.

This is also legal in a number of US states.

Assisted Dying Bill (Scotland)

To find out more about the bill, please visit the Scottish parliament website.