Irish woman Marie Fleming loses assisted death plea

Marie Fleming and Tom Curran Marie Fleming wants to be allowed help to die

Related Stories

A terminally-ill woman has lost a landmark case for someone to assist her suicide in Ireland without being jailed.

Marie Fleming, 58, who has multiple sclerosis, took the legal action against the Irish state to fight for the right to end her life with the help of her partner.

On Thursday, three judges at the High Court in Dublin unanimously ruled they could not support a third party to bring about the death of another.

Ms Fleming, a former university lecturer, pleaded last month with a specially-convened hearing to spare her a horrible death and let her be helped to die lawfully with dignity, surrounded by her family.

Suicide was decriminalised in the Republic of Ireland in 1993.

However, the ban on assisting another person to commit suicide remains in force and a jail sentence of up to 14 years may be imposed for that offence.

Ms Fleming, a former lecturer at University College Dublin (UCD), is cared for by her partner, Tom Curran, at their home in County Wicklow.

The mother of two adult children challenged the constitutionality of the Criminal Law Suicide Act 1993, alleging it discriminates between able-bodied and disabled people.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Europe stories


Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • BooksNew novels

    BBC Culture takes a look at ten new books to read in March


  • TomatoesClick Watch

    The smart garden that fits inside your house and provides fresh healthy food

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.