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Marie Fleming

MS sufferer Marie Fleming has chosen how she will die despite Supreme Court ruling

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Marie Fleming

A terminally-ill MS sufferer has already chosen the method she will use to end her own life – despite losing a Supreme Court case against the ban on assisted suicide.

Marie Fleming wants her partner Tom Curran to help her die but he faces a prison sentence if they go ahead with her plan.

The multiple sclerosis sufferer is physically unable to take her own life.

But she has told the Irish Independent that they have already chosen how they will end her life when the ‘time is right’.

Fleming lost the court case despite arguing that the ban on assisted suicide breached her constitutional rights and discriminated against her as a disabled person.

The Wicklow couple told the paper that they have used a book, ‘The Peaceful Pill Handbook’, as a reference for assisted suicide.

In the interview, they were also critical of the Supreme Court for how it handled the judgment.

Marie said: “The High Court were very, very charismatic and personable but the Supreme Court were totally different. They were more stand-offish.

“There seemed to be no feeling. It was not someone’s life the judgment was being made about. It was made purely on a legal argument. I live with this illness every day, every minute of every day, and to be dismissed . . . I have been very down since the judgment.”

Tom, who attended the final hearing when the appeal was dismissed, added: “The court could have been giving a judgment on the house that Sean Quinn was fighting NAMA about instead of a judgment on someone’s life.”

The 59-year-old has already decided not to take up the option available at an assisted suicide clinic in Switzerland despite registering with them five years ago.

She revealed: “My son pointed out to her that the Dignitas facility was a blue hut in the middle of an industrial estate.

“He said I would be looking out on bloody trucks. So we decided against it. We would do it in our own home.”

Partner Tom told the Irish Independent that he has researched a methodology to help Marie end her life and he is now the Europe co-ordinator for Exit International, providing information on assisted suicide.

The couple are keeping their decision to themselves but Tom told the paper that the simplest way is to use an ‘exit’ bag and to immerse the person in an oxygen-free environment.

He said: “It’s very quick and pain-free. Within three breaths the person loses consciousness. It’s like going to sleep and then within 15 or 20 minutes they are dead as they are deprived of oxygen.”

Marie has confirmed that she will decide to go if she gets locked-in syndrome, or if she can’t talk or listen or see.

In a statement released on Friday night, she said: “While I feel let down by the judgment, it is more upsetting that it feels I wasn’t listened to.

“It seems 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. If the people who make the decisions won’t listen, 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.

“I tolerate a lot and all I ask is to be allowed to make my decision about death and to be given the help that I need to carry out my wishes.

“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?”

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