Marie Fleming loses right to die appeal

Multiple sclerosis sufferer Marie Fleming has lost her legal challenge to enable her to end her life with assistance.

She took the legal challenge so she can die peacefully at home in the arms of her partner Tom Curran without him being convicted and jailed.

Marie Fleming was too ill to attend today’s Supreme Court hearing in Dublin.

The former university lecturer took her appeal to the seven-judge Supreme Court after losing a legal challenge at the High Court in Dublin.

The family have said they expect the 59-year-old former university lecturer from Arklow, Co Wicklow, will now consider taking her case to Europe.

Mr Curran was flanked by Ms Fleming's children, Corrinna and Simon, and his son, David, as he listened to the court's decision.

He squeezed Corrinna’s hand as the Chief Justice Susan Denham ruled against the appeal.

Afterwards, surrounded by Ms Fleming’s legal team and the family, and clutching a copy of the judgment in his hand, he made a phone call delivering the news.

Delivering the ruling, Judge Denham said: “The court will dismiss the appeal of the appellant in this very tragic case.”

Ms Fleming, in the final stages of MS, can only move her head, lives in constant pain and cannot swallow. She suffers choking sessions which she fears will eventually kill her, the court was told during a four-day High Court hearing in February and March.

In her case against Ireland, the Attorney General and Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), the mother of two claimed Section 2.2 of the Criminal Law (Suicide) Act, which renders it an offence to aide, abet, counsel or procure the suicide of another, is unconstitutional on grounds that it breaches her personal autonomy rights under the Irish Constitution and European Convention on Human Rights.

Her legal team argued that the ban is discriminatory and deprives an “entirely innocent” group of severely disabled from suicide, and that she should be given the same right to die by suicide as an able-bodied person.

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