Wednesday 16 August 2017

Not guilty - but the complex issues of assisted suicide and euthanasia remain

Trial Judge Patrick McCartan, in his charge to the jury, described Ms O'Rorke as a faithful, honest and decent person who faced
Trial Judge Patrick McCartan, in his charge to the jury, described Ms O'Rorke as a faithful, honest and decent person who faced "an immense dilemma".
Dearbhail McDonald

Dearbhail McDonald

We can only guess what goes on behind the jury door, can only speculate how a temporal community of men and women selected at random from the electoral register arrive at their decisions.

But we can reasonably infer from the fact that it took a jury of six men and six women just under seven hours to acquit a Dublin taxi driver of attempting to assist her friend to end her life that the complex debate about the boundaries of assisted suicide and euthanasia is one that is far from clear cut.

Many will, perhaps, question why the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions prosecuted taxi driver Gail O'Rorke at all.

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