independent

Friday 18 April 2014

TD vows to propose right-to-die legislation

AN INDEPENDENT TD has vowed to propose assisted suicide legislation in the new year, following the death of Marie Fleming.

Waterford TD John Halligan, who has campaigned on Ms Fleming's behalf, said politicians will be forced to "look inside their souls" in relation to how the State deals with terminally ill patients.

Mr Halligan, who led the couple's battle in the Dail, said Ms Fleming died at 5.30am.

"They are both very brave and loving people who cared for and loved each other deeply," he said.

"Tom had hopes she would make it through Christmas, but it wasn't to be."

Mr Halligan insisted that he will propose assisted suicide legislation in a bid to address a "great injustice" faced by Ms Fleming.

DEBATE

"Every TD in the Dail, including the Taoiseach, will have to look inside their souls and examine their consciences as to what we should do when somebody, who is terminally ill, wants to die," he told the Irish Independent.

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore said Ms Fleming would be remembered as a "brave and courageous" woman who left a lasting legacy by kick-starting a national debate.

"Marie's campaign on issues around the right to die was both brave and courageous," said the Labour Party leader.

"And while pursuing her campaign -- at both political and legal levels -- was always going to be a challenge, her deeply-held conviction meant it was one she was never going to back away from.

"Marie successfully highlighted the complex issues that affect people who find themselves in a situation like hers, and the fact that her case has kick-started a national debate on these matters will be her lasting legacy."

Irish Independent

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