Court to hear landmark case of terminally ill woman looking to end life

The High Court will begin hearing a landmark case in which a terminally ill woman is looking for permission to end her life.

Marie Fleming, who has multiple sclerosis, contends that she 'cannot endure much more pain'.

She is registered with Dignitas, the clinic in Switzerland which assists those with terminal illnesses to die.

Marie Fleming wants the right to end her life if and when she chooses.

The 59 year old says she currently lives with little or no dignity.

The former UCD lecturer is confined to a wheelchair, is unable to move any of her limbs and has significant speech difficulties.

It is her wish to have the choice to die in the Co Wicklow home she shares with her partner Tom Curran.

While suicide is not illegal in Ireland he could face up to 14 years in prison if found to be an accomplice.

She is challenging the constitutionality of the 1993 Criminal Law Suicide Act alleging it interferes with her rights to autonomy and dignity.

This unprecedented case will be heard before three judges of the High Court and is due to last around four days.

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