Tom Curran, the partner of the terminally-ill Marie Fleming who is fighting for her right to assisted suicide, said this week that Taoiseach Enda Kenny is wrong in his assertion that he cannot change the present legislation barring Fleming in her right to die.
The Irish Independent reports that Curran was present in the Dail on Wednesday May 29 along with his and Fleming’s daughter Corrinna Moore. The family was present without Fleming, who was too ill to attend.
The family’s presence at the Dail comes as an effort to ramp up support for Marie Fleming’s bid for her right to assisted suicide. As a sufferer of Multiple Sclerosis, Fleming lives in constant pain, cannot swallow and suffers choking sessions which she fears will eventually kill her. She and her family have been making appeals against legislation that makes it a criminal offense for her to end her life.
Should Tom Curran assist in taking his partner Marie Fleming’s life, he could face up to 14 years in jail.
At the Dail on Wednesday, Taoiseach Kenny said, "I believe that if this house were asked to find words to adequately describe the impeccable courage and dignity and competence of Ms Fleming, it would probably be rendered mute."
“I understand the grief of this extraordinary woman and the commitment of her partner and family but it is not open to me to give you the commitment you seek,” Kenny added, indicating that the matter was out of his hands.
Curran, however, rebutted with, "Words of compassion are very easy but it's compassion in action we want to see, anybody can speak them. We feel abandoned and more importantly dismissed as if we're dirt on their shoe."
Outside of the Dail, Curran said that Taoiseach Kenny misinterpreted the initial rulings. "I did expect him to say no but I didn't expect him to say that he couldn't, which is what he said. He was completely wrong. He is saying it's not within his power.”
“The Supreme Court told the Oireachtas directly that is it within their power and they passed it back to the Oireachtas saying there was no constitutional ban on changing the law,” Curran said.
“They brought in the law in 1973, they brought in the offense then, the Oireachtas can change that law and modify it to allow, as the court said, classes of people, like Marie, to have the freedom to do what she wants to do or to have the option to do."
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