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Tom Curran and Marie Fleming

Ill Irish woman sues for right to die with her partner’s help

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Tom Curran and Marie Fleming

A seriously ill Irish woman and her partner are suing to have the right to have her commit suicide with the help of her partner who is active in the right to die movement.

Marie Fleming and her partner Tom Curran, who are taking a case to the High Court in Ireland about the country’s suicide laws, have gone public by talking about their action with the Irish Independent.

Fleming suffers from multiple sclerosis, is wheelchair-bound and needs 24/7 care. Partner Curran provides that care, and the 59-year-old woman is trying to win the choice of end her life with his help should her suffering become too much.

As the Irish suicide law stands – suicide was decriminalized in the country in 1993 – if Curran helps Fleming to end her life then he could be sentenced to 14 years in prison.

"We are taking this case on both our behalfs," Curran told the Irish Independent. "Marie may never exercise the decision (to end her life), but I am willing to go to prison if needs be.

“It would give Marie such comfort, such peace of mind, to know that I will be there for her and that she will not have to suffer needlessly. It would give her comfort to know I could help without the threat of prison. Peace of mind, that is what this case is about."

Curran has played a very active role in the fight to legalize assisted suicide.  He is the coordinator of the Irish chapter of Exit International which, according to its website “is a leading end-of-life choices (voluntary euthanasia/ assisted suicide) information & advocacy organization. “

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