A NUMBER of terminally-ill people from Cork reached out to an organisation for advice on taking their own lives without criminalising their loved ones.
Tom Curran, European co-ordinator for Exit International, which provides information and guidance on assisted suicide, said that this year, two Cork people came to him in search of advice on assisted dying. This is in addition to six terminally-ill people who called him last year.
Mr Curran’s partner of 25 years, multiple sclerosis sufferer Marie Fleming, was unsuccessful in her attempts to change legislation on assisted suicide at the Supreme Court in April 2013. She died later that year aged 59.
Tom said that the majority of partners of those contacting him said they would assist in their suicides if this became the only option. Nonetheless, he stressed that sufferers do not want to see their partner’s freedom compromised by a criminal conviction.
“To even help with putting a plan in place that would allow a person to die legally is enough to implicate someone,” he said.
“This can extend as far as booking a taxi for someone to travel to the airport. It leads you to wonder if this means that the taxi driver is complicit. Is the airline complicit? Is the person on the plane who helps you with your bag complicit? This is how ridiculous the current legislation gets.”
He said in theory, a person can be held responsible even if a physician-assisted suicide occurs years later. Assisted suicide is a crime in Ireland, but is legal in some EU countries.