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'They won't let me die, but won't help me to live either'


Marie Fleming with her partner Tom Curran at their home in Wicklow.

Marie Fleming with her partner Tom Curran at their home in Wicklow.

Marie Fleming with her partner Tom Curran at their home in Wicklow.

Terminally ill Marie Fleming has said the State will not give her "permission to die but they will not help me live either".

The 59-year-old multiple sclerosis sufferer, who recently lost her Supreme Court challenge to the ban on assisted suicide, said she felt the court has not listened to her.

Last night, the mother of two was too ill to join her partner, Tom Curran, on RTE's Late Late Show, but he read a statement from her.

In it, Marie thanked the Irish people for their interest in her landmark right-to-die case. She said she was grateful to people for "listening to what I have to say".



"This is what was missing from the court. While I feel let down by the judgment, it is more upsetting that it feels I wasn't listened to.

"It seems that the State does not want me to die but all the time chips away at my quality of life, one cutback after another."

She criticised the Taoiseach, adding: "Shame on Enda Kenny for what he is doing to people like me."

Marie is terminally ill, but physically unable to end her own life and wants her partner Tom to help her die without fear of prosecution. She took her court case arguing that the ban on assisted suicide breached her Constitutional rights and discriminated against her as a disabled person.

But a seven-judge Supreme Court ruled there was no Constitutional right to die or to be assisted to do so in this country.

Marie said last night: "If the people who make the decisions won't listen to me, I would ask them to come and live my life for just one day or even one hour and tell me how enthusiastic they are about living.

"It seems they will not give me permission to die, but they will not help me live either."



The Wicklow woman explained: "I tolerate a lot and all I ask is to be allowed to make my decision about death and to be given the help that I need to carry out my wishes. Through no fault of my own, I cannot carry out my wishes myself.

"I am not asking to find someone to help me, I have that person already.

"All I ask is that he can carry out my wishes without getting himself into trouble. Is that too much to ask?"