Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has said he will consider commissioning an expert report on assisted suicide, but warned there was no simple answer to a range of ethical and legal issues to be examined.
Mr Gilmore was responding to Independent TD Stephen Donnelly, who told the Dáil of multiple sclerosis sufferer Marie Fleming, who, along with her partner Tom Curran, lost a Supreme Court ruling on assisted suicide earlier this year.
The seven-judge Supreme Court ruled, while there was no Constitutional right to die or to be assisted to do so, there was nothing to prevent the introduction of legislation to deal with cases such as that of Ms Fleming.
Mr Donnelly spoke with Tom Curran and Marie’s condition has worsened since the court case.
Her ability to swallow was getting worse and, because she would not use artificial feeding, under the current legislation she will starve to death. He asked her partner what question Marie would like to ask in the Dáil.
“Come and live my life for 24 hours and see if you think helping me to die should be a crime. Come and spend 24 hours in my house and see what you think?”
He said Marie would also ask the Oireachtas to change the law so that she could die on her own terms without the threat of Tom Curran spending 14 years in prison.
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