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Marie hit by cash crisis in suicide battle

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Marie Fleming with her partner Tom Curranat their home in Co Wicklow

Pic:Mark Condren

3.5.2013

Marie Fleming with her partner Tom Curranat their home in Co Wicklow Pic:Mark Condren 3.5.2013

Marie Fleming with her partner Tom Curranat their home in Co Wicklow Pic:Mark Condren 3.5.2013

THE cost of Marie Fleming's legal battle for assisted suicide is proving to be too much.

Tom Curran, her partner, has revealed that the fees from their court battles may end their ongoing campaign for assisted suicide.

Last month, Ms Fleming, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, lost her landmark challenge to the State's legal ban on assisted suicide.

Mr Curran said their court challenge is unlikely to move to Europe due to the costs incurred after failure in the Irish courts.

"We live on disability allowance and carers' allowance, which leaves debts with us at the end of the week rather than a surplus to be able to take a case to Europe.

"It may well be too late. The average waiting time for a court case in Europe is five years.

"We don't know if we have the energy or whether we need to just use the time we have and make the best of that time and not be distracted by a legal challenge," Mr Curran said.

Comfort

Ms Fleming's fight to allow her to be lawfully helped to end her life was highlighted in the Dail by Independent TD John Halligan.

Mr Halligan called on Taoiseach Enda Kenny to allow the Oireachtas to introduce legislation to allow for assisted suicide. Mr Kenny said that he couldn't give the commitment on the issue on what he described as an "extraordinary case involving an extraordinary woman".

However, Mr Curran believes that his partner is being denied her rights by the refusal.

"She is such a wonderful person but is being denied the one thing that gives her comfort to know that she will not die painfully or badly," Mr Curran said, speaking to Pat Kenny on RTE radio.

"She's being denied that right by her disability, by the courts and now by the Oireachtas.

"Marie is a competent person making a competent decision but her disability prevents her from doing something that an able-bodied person is legally entitled to do."

hnews@herald.ie


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