Saturday 24 February 2018

Assisted suicide bill to come before Dail

Marie Fleming with her partner Tom Curranat at their home in Co Wiclkow
Marie Fleming with her partner Tom Curranat at their home in Co Wiclkow

Left Alliance TD John Halligan will introduce a new bill on assisted suicide when the Dail returns in the Autumn.

The Bill is currently being drafted with the assistance of Tom Curran, the widowed partner of Marie Fleming who lost a high profile Supreme Court case on the right-to-die.

The seven-person Supreme Court ruled Ms Fleming did not have the Constitutional right to die, or to be assisted to do, but it said there was nothing to prevent the introduction of legislation to deal with similar cases.

Mr Halligan said the new legislation would "implement the logic of the ruling of the Supreme Court".

He told the Sunday Independent: "Just as people have the right to live with dignity they should also, where they are suffering acute terminal illness, have the right to die with dignity."

Mr Halligan said the proposed Assisted Dying Bill would be "quite restrictive". He stressed the new legislation would be drafted for "conscious and competent adults who can make an autonomous decision; it will not be applicable to children or adults who are not capable of making a rational decision."

He added: "This is an issue which is being discussed all over the world, France, England, Holland, Sweden, America. It is time we at least confronted the scenario where suffering surpasses the will to live.

"Doctors in particular find there is nothing more soul destroying and distressing than seeing people in intolerable pain being kept alive against their wishes."

Sunday Independent

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