Terminally-ill Marie Fleming critical of Taoiseach

A terminally-ill woman has criticised Taoiseach Enda Kenny and the judiciary for leaving her in a terrible limbo by not allowing her to die by assisted suicide.

Terminally-ill Marie Fleming critical of Taoiseach

In a statement, read out by her partner on the Late Late Show last night, Marie Fleming said she felt the seven-judge Supreme Court had not listened to what she had to say when they ruled earlier this week against her challenge to the ban on assisted suicide.

Ms Fleming, 59, who is in the final stages of multiple sclerosis, is so ill she is unable to take her own life and she is afraid her partner, Tom Curran, will be prosecuted if he assists her wish.

Mr Curran read out her statement, in which she said that while she felt let down by the judgment, it was more upsetting that she wasn’t listened to.

“It seems that the State does not want me to die but all the time chips away at my quality of life, one cutback after another.... the latest being the mobility scheme and the carbon tax increasing heating and transport costs. Shame on Enda Kenny for what he is doing to people like me,” the statement said.

In an impassioned plea she added: “If the people who make the decisions won’t listen to me, I would ask them to come and live my life for just one day or even one hour and tell me how enthusiastic they are about living.

“It seems they will not give me permission to die, but they will not help me live either.”

Ms Fleming said she was very grateful for the help she receives from Mr Curran, her family and carers.

“They do all the things I would love to be able to do for myself, like showering, dressing, feeding and even scratching my nose when it itches.”

She said she suffers a lot and the only thing she asks is to be allowed to make her own decision about dying and to be given help to do that.

“Through no fault of my own I cannot carry out my wishes myself. I am not asking to find someone to help me; I have that person already.

“All I ask is that he can carry out my wishes without getting himself into trouble. Is that too much to ask?”

The Supreme Court found against the Wicklow woman because it maintained that under the Constitution there is no explicit right to commit suicide, or to determine the time of one’s death.

Chief Justice Susan Denham described her plight as “very tragic”.

Although suicide was decriminalised in 1993, legislation still on the statute book makes it a criminal offence to assist or abet in another person’s suicide.

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