Woman died after suicide clinic denial

Gardaí are awaiting instructions from the DPP in the case of a woman who died from an overdose shortly after she was prevented from travelling to an assisted suicide clinic, Dublin Coroner’s Court heard.

Bernadette Forde, of Morehampton Mews on Morehampton Rd, Dublin 4, was found dead at her apartment on Jun 6, 2011, having taken her own life. She died as a result of barbituate toxicity.

Gardaí launched an investigation following Ms Forde’s death having previously been made aware that she intended to travel to Switzerland to go to the Dignitas clinic. She was in the final stages of multiple sclerosis and was planning to die by assisted suicide but was prevented from travelling by gardaí.

Requesting a further adjournment of the inquest into her death, Det Insp Sean Campbell said a file went to the DPP last August and gardaí have responded to some subsequent queries. A decision in the case was expected “fairly soon” but it was not possible to say when that may be, he told the court. Det Insp Campbell said there were events in another court which may have a bearing on the case.

The Supreme Court is currently considering an appeal by 59-year-old Marie Fleming against the High Court rejection of her challenge to the absolute ban on assisted suicide in Irish law.

Coroner Dr Brian Farrell adjourned the inquest for further mention on Sept 27.

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