An MSP raced from the Scottish Parliament's debating chamber to help a pensioner who collapsed in the public gallery.
Dr Richard Simpson, who spent 30 years as a GP before entering Holyrood, was due to ask a question during MSPs' weekly opportunity to grill Alex Salmond at First Minister's Questions.
Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick rearranged proceedings after Dr Simpson spotted the man in difficulty in the packed public gallery and ran to help him.
Dr Simpson assessed the man's condition while Parliament staff waited for the ambulance, and was able to return to his seat around 10 minutes later to ask his question about cancer waiting times.
A Scottish Parliament spokesman said: "A 77-year-old man took ill in the public gallery during FMQs (First Minister's Questions). The Parliament's security staff immediately stepped in to administer first aid and Dr Richard Simpson MSP also offered assistance.
"Dr Simpson was already present in the chamber and was able to assess the gentleman's condition before an ambulance arrived. The Presiding Officer suspended business briefly while the ambulance crew attended. The member of the public was taken to hospital accompanied, we understand, by his daughter who was with him."
First Minister's Questions is regarded as a highlight of Holyrood's weekly business and regularly draws packed crowds to the public gallery.
After helping the sick spectator, Dr Simpson prompted Mr Salmond to look into reports that bowel cancer patients make up a third of all patients overdue for treatment.
The First Minister revealed that one cancer patient waited 399 days for treatment, nearly a year past the 62-day target, a situation he described as "totally unacceptable".
Dr Simpson said 600 people are overdue for treatment, a third of whom are for colorectal (bowel) cancer. Mr Salmond said 95.3% of patients are seen within the waiting time target but that the Government is aspiring to make it 100%.