Lawyers for terminally ill woman Marie Fleming said today that it is a cruel irony that those likely to need the right to terminate life are denied it, due to a physical disability.
The 58-year-old mother-of-two, who has multiple sclerosis, needs help to fulfil her wish of dying peacefully in the arms of her partner Tom Curran at their home in Arklow, Co Wicklow.
She is challenging the constitutionality of the law on assisted suicide.
The former UCD lecturer is almost completely paralyzed and now wants to die at home at a time of her choosing.
However, she fears if her partner Tom Curran helps her he may be prosecuted under Section 2.2 of the 1993 Criminal Law Suicide Act.
Today, her lawyers are arguing that if the law is in place to protect the common good it is not being applied equally as able-bodied people are free from legal sanction.
Senior Counsel Brian Murray said that it is a cruel irony that the category of persons who are more likely to need the right to terminate life is denied that right because of a fear of it being abused.
He said that there is a zone of privacy the State can interfere with, but not so as to enforce a moral view as to how citizens should or should not behave.