THE LibDem MSP seeking to legalise assisted dying in Scotland has offered to meet with Nicola Sturgeon after the former first minister intervened in the debate on the issue.

In a column for the Glasgow Times on Wednesday, Sturgeon said she had expected to find herself supporting the move to legalise assisted dying, but instead was “veering away from a vote in favour”.

The former SNP leader said her concerns about the bill – which will be the third time since devolution that attempts to pass similar legislation have been made – centred on it becoming the “thin end of the wedge”.

READ MORE: Wee Ginger Dug: Assisted Dying Bill wouldn't have helped my husband - but here's why it's still key

Sturgeon wrote: “If we normalise assisted dying – if we come to associate dignity at the end of life with choosing to die, rather than being supported to live in as much peace and comfort as possible – then we will, as a society, lose focus on the palliative and end-of-life care and support that is necessary to help people, even in the worst of circumstances, to live with dignity.

“And I worry that, over time, this shift in collective mindset will see the tightly drawn provisions of this bill extended much further.”

Liam McArthur, the LibDem MSP who has proposed the bill, said he appreciated the issues Sturgeon raised – and offered to meet with Sturgeon to “allay” them.

The National: Assisted dying

McArthur (above) said: “I appreciate the issues that Nicola Sturgeon raises and I hope that I will have a chance to meet with her and other MSPs who are not yet convinced to back my bill in a bid to allay their concerns.

“The recent UK Parliament inquiry into assisted dying noted that there was no evidence of palliative and end-of-life care deteriorating in quality or provision following the introduction of assisted dying in jurisdictions around the world. Indeed, in many instances improvements have gone hand in hand.

“Our current laws on assisted dying are failing too many terminally ill Scots and despite the best efforts of palliative care, dying people too often face traumatic deaths that harm both them and those they leave behind.

“I would encourage my MSP colleagues to consider carefully the detail of this bill and the safeguards that it puts in place. In turn, I hope this leads them to back my proposals to give terminally ill adults the choice they need and one that an overwhelming majority of Scots support."

When McArthur’s bill was first published, a poll commissioned by campaign group Dignity in Dying found at least a two-thirds majority in support in every constituency and region in Scotland, with a 78% average overall support.

The poll, conducted for campaigners by Opinium, surveyed 4132 Scottish adults between February 9 and March 15.

It showed 15% of respondents were against the proposals.