Thursday 21 November 2019

Curran urges Kenny to show 'compassion' and change law

Bernadette Forde
Bernadette Forde

Mark O'Regan

Right-to-die campaigner Tom Curran has appealed to Taoiseach Enda Kenny to show "compassion" and allow for "assisted suicide" in the case of those terminally ill.

Mr Curran's partner, Marie Fleming, died in his arms in December 2013, following a high-profile appeal against Ireland's assisted suicide laws.

She had been unable to end her own life and had suffered from severe multiple sclerosis .

Speaking after the acquittal of Gail O'Rorke, who stood accused of attempting to help a friend with multiple sclerosis end her life, he said Mr Kenny must "wake up and realise urgent change is needed."

"He needs to go along with the number of people in Ireland who want this law changed," he told the Irish Independent.

"Every poll that's been done in the country has found that assisted dying should be available for the terminally ill.

"The last poll was as high as 87pc. If that's not a mandate to do something about this, I don't know what is."

He added: "Rational people should be allowed to make decisions for themselves, and to end their suffering, when they have a life-limiting, or terminal illness. There's a bill which will be coming before the Dáil soon, and I would ask him to take it seriously, and debate it properly.

"He should amend it whatever way is deemed necessary, to provide protection for vulnerable people, because they have to be protected." Visibly upset and emotional, he described Gail O'Rorke's acquittal as "just and correct", adding that she should "never have stood trial."

However, Cora Sherlock, deputy chairperson of the Pro Life Campaign, insisted euthanasia and assisted suicide "are not a solution."

"The best and most compassionate way to reassure the terminally ill that their lives matter - just as much as those of healthy citizens - is to provide them with proper palliative care."

Irish Independent

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