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UK immigration quiz Irish 'right to die' partner


Marie Fleming alongside her partner Tom Curran. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Marie Fleming alongside her partner Tom Curran. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Marie Fleming alongside her partner Tom Curran. Photo: Steve Humphreys

RIGHT-TO-DIE campaigner Tom Curran was questioned by airport officials last night as he made his way to London for a euthanasia workshop.

The partner of terminally ill Marie Fleming, who lost her Supreme Court battle to die at a time of her own choosing, was stopped at Heathrow airport in London.



Mr Curran, the European co-ordinator of Exit International – the global voluntary euthanasia organisation led by Australian doctor Philip Nitschke – was asked several questions by officials before proceeding to central London.

Last Sunday, Dr Nitschke, known as 'Doctor Death' for his support of 'mercy killings', was also detained for questioning by immigration at Gatwick.

Dr Nitschke presents a seminar in London today and at Dublin's Liberty Hall on Saturday. Exit workshops inform attendees on a range of euthanasia methods – including barbiturates, gases and poisons – as well as suicide notes, death certificates and autopsies.

Attendance is restricted to those aged 50 or over and the seriously ill. The mentally ill are not permitted to attend.

Mr Curran, whose partner Marie is in the final stages of multiple sclerosis, said that although pro-life groups had objected to Dr Nitschke's previous Irish workshops, the authorities here have never prevented them going ahead.

Describing Ms Fleming's case as tragic, a full, seven-judge Supreme Court ruled that there was no Constitutional right to die or to be assisted to do so.



However, it said there was nothing to prevent legislation to deal with cases such as that of Ms Fleming being introduced.

This has been ruled out by Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

Ms Fleming had claimed the absolute ban on assisted suicide, in her particular circumstances as a severely disabled person unable to take her own life unaided, disproportionately infringes her personal autonomy rights under the Constitution and European Convention on Human Rights.