Tánaiste [deputy prime minister of Ireland] Eamon Gilmore has denied that he is pushing for legislation to allow assisted suicide or euthanasia. He was attempting to calm tensions in the coalition after recent remarks that the issue needs to be “dealt with legislatively.”
But Mr. Gilmore told the Irish Independent the government has no plans to bring in legislation and the Labour Party is not pushing for laws in the area.
“The Government doesn’t have any plans for legislation in that area. It is not part of our Programme for Government. What I said in the Dail last week is I felt it was an issue that should be considered in a non-partisan way in the Oireachtas. I think probably the place for it to be considered is at an Oireachtas committee. There needs to be a broad discussion on it. The Government doesn’t have any legislative plans,” he said. When asked if he had plans to bring forward legislation, he said, “No.”
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Earlier this year, the Supreme Court rejected a challenge to the ban on assisted suicide, ruling that there was no constitutional right to take one’s life, even though suicide is no longer a criminal act. Neither is there a right to arrange for one’s life to be terminated.
In the aftermath of this decision, Taoiseach [Prime Minister] Enda Kenny ruled out legislating on the issue. He told the Dail that while there was nothing in the judgment that should be taken as implying the court would not be open to the State legislating for assisted suicide, it was not the same as saying the Oireachtas should do so.