Thursday 17 October 2019

Taoiseach rejects plea for right to die legislation for Marie Fleming

Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has rejected a plea to change the law to allow the family of a terminally ill woman to end her life.

Former college lecturer Marie Fleming, who is in the final stages of multiple sclerosis, lost her Supreme Court bid to get an order that would allow her be lawfully helped to end her life at a time of her choice.

Her case was highlighted in the Dail today by Independent TD John Halligan, who pleaded with Mr Kenny to change the law.

Mr Kenny said it was an extraordinary case and that Marie Fleming was an extraordinary woman.

He acknowledged the Supreme Court had said there was nothing to stop the Oireachtas legislating on the issue. But he said the offence of assisting another to take a life remains in place because it was necessary to protect the vulnerable.

"It's not open to me to give the commitment you seek, Deputy Halligan," he said.

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