Court told 'no constitutional right to suicide' in Marie Fleming case

The Supreme Court has been told there is no constitutional right to suicide and that the ban on assisted suicide applies equally to everyone.

The State has been putting forward arguments opposing terminally ill Wicklow woman Marie Fleming's right to die appeal.

Suicide was described by state lawyers as a severe social problem in Ireland.

They say its decriminalisation in 1993 doesn't mean there is now a constitutional right to take one's own life.

Marie Fleming claims the current ban on assisted suicide discriminates against her because unlike an able bodied person she can't end her life without help.

But barrister for the State Michael Cush argued that the law applies equally to everyone even if it just so happens to have greater application to some more than others.

He says by imposing a ban the Oireachtas was entitled to have regard to policy considerations such as the danger of involuntary deaths amongst vulnerable people.

The case was due to finish today but will now conclude next Tuesday.

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