Pages tagged "HOPEIreland"
Euthanasia & assisted suicide bill in Irish Parliament
Dec 23, 2015
Paul Russell Irish Deputy, John Halligan tabled his Dying with Dignity Bill 2015 in the Irish Lower House (Dail) on the 15th of December.Halligan had been telling the Irish Press that a bill was imminent for much of this last year claiming that he had been working with Exit International's European representative, Tom Curran and two solicitors to draft the new bill. Continue reading
Ireland may debate assisted suicide soon
Sep 30, 2015
The Irish Times is reporting today that Irish Independent MP, John Halligan, plans to table his assisted suicide bill in the DÃ¡il (parliament) 'within weeks'.The threat of an attempt at legalising assisted suicide has been building for some time. The first significant attempt at law reform came via a Court case brought by MS sufferer, Marie Fleming who was seeking assurances that her husband, Tom Curran, would not be prosecuted if he assisted her in her suicide, claiming that her disability rendered her unable to act herself and that, therefore, she was being discriminated against under the Irish Constitution. It was very similarr to the successful British Court case of fellow MS sufferer, Debbie Purdy in 2009 that forced the UK Public Prosecutor to issue guidelines for the circumstances under which an accompanying relative or friend to Dignitas in Zurich would not face the law.Marie Fleming's case failed on appeal.In April this year, Gail O'Rorke was tried in the Irish criminal court and found not guilty of an offence against the Irish laws prohibiting assisted suicide in relation to another MS sufferer, Bernadette Forde.In June this year, Dr Kevin Fitzpatrick, director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition International held a conference in Dublin that included the timely launch of HOPE Ireland, in preparation for the pending debate. Fitzpatrick said recently: "We must oppose legalising euthanasia/assisted suicide for reasons of the terrible consequences that have come where laws have been passed. Even a minimal scratch at the surface reveals all the dangers inherent in such laws. The evidence is overwhelming and that is where the 'big' conversation needs to be honest."John Halligan seems to be in agreement, telling the Irish Times that we need a, "dignified, compassionate and thoughtful debate". Continue reading
Assisted suicide for disabled people - democracy in Britain?
Jul 06, 2015
Dr Kevin Fitzpatrick OBE, Director of Hope Ireland, published on the Hope Ireland's blog. Professor Raphael Cohen-Almagor's recent research results are extremely important.As Baroness Helena Kennedy QC said in a public debate (Southbank, January 28 2012), 'This is about the kind of society we want to live in'. Continue reading
Belgium: 'Euthanasia is a nice idea' - the decline of a society?
Jun 26, 2015
By EPC International Director and Director of HOPE Ireland, Dr Kevin Fitzpatrick Hermann de Dijn, emeritus professor of philosophy at the Belgian University of Leuven, says: 'Once the law is there, you have people asking themselves new questionsâ�¦ 'Do I really have quality of life? Am I not a burden on others?'De Dijn believes that 'human dignity should include not only respect for personal choices but also for connectedness to loved ones and society.' The concept of human dignity in Belgium has been 'reduced to the ability to have certain experiences'. Continue reading
Jun 17, 2015
Everyone who heard Tom Mortier speak at the recent #HOPE2015 Adelaide Symposium or at the more recent HOPE inaugural conference in Dublin, Ireland, was certainly moved emotionally by the story of the euthanasia death of his mother. She was physically well but suffered from clinical depression.The story itself is well known now across the globe. It is a clear example of the category shift in Belgium that allows now for euthanasia for a much broader range of circumstances than was ever envisaged when the law was debated and passed in 2001 and 2002. It is also a very clear example of what happens when the pursuit of autonomy moves past the natural boundaries of application to a point where even familial relationships count for little. "You've just taken away the suffering of one person and transposed it to another!' " Tom to Dr Distelmans.Tom is a dear friend. We spent a few days sightseeing and talking after the Adelaide event. As he has said repeatedly that he never asked for this. His life and that of his family have been radically altered by events beyond his control. He declares quite openly that he is not an activist. But he is someone who is grappling with the pursuit of justice; and that in a country where he finds that the cultural shift towards accepting euthanasia as a right sees him as one of only a few voices of opposition.No-one should ever experience such life-shattering events. But as Tom says, he knows that he is not the only one. There are others. The pursuit of justice needs a voice. Tom is such a voice. And while it is difficult and deeply frustrating to seek for justice to be done in an environment where many, if not most, cannot see the problem; justice will be done. Justice may be portrayed as a blindfolded woman, but she will have her way.During the Adelaide symposium and also since returning to Belgium, Tom has been co-operating with the Australian SBS television network in the production of a documentary. He also co-operated with Rachel Aviv from The New Yorker in a recently published expose on Belgium's love affair with euthanasia. I urge readers to consider how difficult it must be to retell these events time and time again. Tom is not seeking the limelight nor to bring attention to himself but, rather to an issue that cries out for justice; not just for himself, his mother and his family, but for his entire beloved homeland of Belgium.I encourage anyone who genuinely wishes to gain an understanding about Belgium's experiment with euthanasia to read the New Yorker article (linked here).We should all keep Tom and his family in our thoughts with gratitude for his incredible courage. Continue reading
Dublin Ireland - new group opposing euthanasia & assisted suicide launched.
Jun 11, 2015
It was a great privilege to be invited to be present at the launch of the new organisation, HOPE Ireland and to speak at their inaugural conference in Dublin on the 6th of June. Dr Kevin Fitzpatrick, director of HOPE Ireland, convened the conference in the wake of recent announcements that a bill will soon be tabled in the Dail (Parliament) in the nation's firstt attempt through the parliament at legalising assisted suicide.Alex Schadenberg, head of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition International opened the conference and set the scene of the troubling history of both euthanasia and assisted suicide in the few jurisdictions where these practices are approved in law. Continue reading