Ireland’s law against assisted suicide upheld

By Dave Andrusko

Marie Fleming

Marie Fleming

Just as we are to post the last National Right to Life News Today item for Thursday, we learned that Marie Fleming had lost her “landmark” challenge to Ireland’s law against assisted suicide. We will have full details on Friday.

The 58-year-old Fleming, who has Multiple Sclerosis, wanted an order to invalidate a section of the law that bans assisted suicide under the Constitution and incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. Her partner, Tom Curran, is the leader of the pro-assisted suicide Exit International leader.

The Irish Times reported

“The three-judge High Court ruled today the absolute ban is justified to protect vulnerable others from involuntary death and does not breach Marie Fleming’s personal autonomy and equality rights under the Constitution and European Convention on Human Rights.”

All the initial accounts emphasized the sympathy judges of the specially convened court felt for Fleming. But they equally clear that they understood the ramifications of overturning the law.

Quoting from the decision, the Times reported

“A ‘real risk’ of removing the ban was that, even with rigorous safeguards, it ‘would be impossible to ensure that the aged, the disabled, the poor, the unwanted, the rejected, the lonely, the impulsive, the financially compromised and emotionally vulnerable would not avail of option in order to avoid a sense of being a burden on their family and society.’”

It is expected she will appeal the 120-page judgment  to the Supreme Court.