The Irish State has told the Supreme Court that the decriminalization of taking one’s life has not created a right to suicide, for cases such as Marie Fleming. The 59-year-old, who is in the final stages of multiple sclerosis, is fighting for the right to a dignified and controlled death.
Earlier this week the Irish Human Rights Commission told the Irish courts they believe Fleming has the right under “strict conditions” to be assisted in taking her own life. However, the Irish State argue that suicide has “appalling consequences” for those left behind, reports the Irish Times.
Representing the State, Michael Cush SC, said the policy of the law remains “adverse to all suicide” and therefore abetting death such as this is an offense.
The State sympathised with Fleming’s case but said she has no constitutional right to assistance in her death.
Fleming and her family are currently appealing the High Court’s rejection of her case to challenge Section 2.2 of the Criminal Law Suicide Act 1993.
A former lecturer at the University College of Dublin, Fleming argues that the Irish court’s ruling infringes on her personal autonomy rights according to the Constitution and European Convention on Human Rights. She also argues that the ban is discriminatory as an able-bodied person would be allowed to take their own life lawfully.