Select Committee on Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill Minutes of Evidence



Adopted 28 October 2000


  The principal purposes for which this Society is established are:—

    (a)  to promote knowledge about end-of-life choices and dignified death; and

    (b)  to support those concerned about end-of-life choices and dignified death and to support those suffering from distress, especially that associated with the end of life; and

    (c)  to advance medical education relevant to the processes of death and terminal illnesses; and

    (d)  in furtherance thereof to fund research into the causes, cures and prevention of distress in the dying and those caring for them and to publicly disseminate the outcome of such research; and

    (e)  to act along with others in pursuit of the above

  and its subsidiary purposes are all things reasonably conceived to bring about or advance the foregoing.


  Any person accepting the above purposes and who is approved by the Council, shall be entitled to join.

  Resignation may be effected on reasonable notice.

  The Council may on good cause shown (which prima facie includes non-payment of any subscription for more than six months) terminate any person's membership, but, while taking immediate effect, this will be open to appeal to a general meeting of the members.


    (a)  At least six weeks' notice will be given of any general meeting.

    (b)  Once in each calendar year the members will hold a general meeting:—

    (i)  to receive and consider report from the Council on the year's activities;

    (ii)  to receive and approve the annual accounts;

    (iii)  to elect a Convener, a Secretary and a Treasurer (whose offices shall not normally be combined) together with three other members who together shall form the Council and hold office until the conclusion of the next Annual General Meeting. Casual vacancies in any of these offices and in the Council itself shall be filled by the remaining members of the Council in whatever manner they deem fit. The Council shall have power to co-opt up to three additional members;

    No person elected to the office of Convener, Secretary or Treasurer shall hold the same office for more than three years consecutively, nor may any member of the Council serve for more than six years consecutively. Three members of the Council (one of whom must be the Convener, Secretary or Treasurer) shall be a quorum at its meetings;

    (iv)  to appoint an external examiner of the accounts (who shall not be a member of the Council) which shall be prepared and examined as envisaged in the Charities Accounts (Scotland) Regulations 1992 or such substitute statutory provisions as may be enacted from time to time. Funds may be invested in habile and repute responsible nominee names.

    (c)  A special general meeting may be called when appropriate and shall be called upon the written requisition of at least 20 members submitted to the Secretary specifying the business concerned and the resolutions proposed. These will appear in the notice calling the members to the meeting, which will be called to take place not more than eight weeks from the delivery (which may be vouched by certificate of first class recorded delivery) of the requisition to the Convener or the Secretary.

    (d)  Motions affecting the constitution once adopted at general meetings shall then be subject to a postal ballot of all members conducted within seven working days of the meeting. Unless subject (in the opinion of the Council) to bona fide error or force majeure, no postal vote shall be counted which is returned more than three weeks from the date of despatch of the ballot papers.

    (e)  Simple majorities will suffice except where amendment of the constitution is concerned, when a majority of two thirds of those voting is required.

    (f) No person at any meeting or by postal ballot shall have a casting as well as a deliberative vote and in the event of any motion failing to achieve the necessary majority the motion will fail.

    (g)  No proxy may be constituted except in writing duly intimated to the Secretary.


  In the event of dissolution any funds remaining will be distributed to such charities as the Council may deem appropriate.

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