Marie Fleming to appeal assisted suicide ban to Supreme Court

Thursday 17 January 2013 11.16
Marie Fleming argued the law on assisted suicide infringes her rights under the Constitution
Marie Fleming argued the law on assisted suicide infringes her rights under the Constitution

Marie Fleming, the 59-year-old Wicklow woman who lost her landmark challenge to the ban on assisted suicide, has confirmed she is to appeal her case to the Supreme Court.

Ms Fleming, who has multiple sclerosis, would need help to end her own life. She sought to have the law on assisted suicide declared invalid.

She claims it infringes her rights under the Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights.

She said the law discriminated against her, as an able-bodied person is free to take their own life.

A three-judge divisional High Court last week ruled against her, saying any relaxation of the ban would affect wider society and was not in the public interest of protecting vulnerable people.

The court also ruled the DPP should not be obliged to issue guidelines on the criteria used for prosecutions for assisted suicide.

However, the court said it felt sure the DPP would exercise discretion in a humane fashion in this of all cases.

Ms Fleming was awarded her costs in the High Court case because it was deemed to be of exceptional public importance.

Papers have now been lodged for an appeal and the case is expected to be mentioned before the Supreme Court.