John Halligan calls on government to pass assisted suicide legislation

ireland
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Digital Desk staff

A former Minister of State has called on the government to pass legislation on assisted suicide.

John Halligan introduced the Dying with Dignity Bill in 2015 but it was never completed in the house.

The Former Independent TD says he would be willing to go to jail to help someone.

Mr Halligan told WLR FM in Waterford he has in the past provided information on assisted suicide:

"I was never asked to give financial assistance but I was asked to give the geographical places it can happen."

"It only happened once though and I just gave the information."

It comes as Mr Halligan revealed recently that he helped someone travel to Switzerland to access assisted suicide.

The Bill was brought in 2015 to act as "provision for assistance in achieving a dignified and peaceful end of life to qualifying persons and related matters."

When the Dáil and Seanad dissolved back in 2016, the bill was left behind.

Direct euthanasia

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Assisted suicide is fully legal in only three European countries: The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.

Active and direct euthanasia has been legalised in the Netherlands since April 2002. Requested administration of a drug in lethal doses is authorised if patients make the request while lucid.

They must also be experiencing unbearable suffering from a condition diagnosed as incurable by at least two doctors

Belgium lifted restrictions on euthanasia in September 2002 for patients facing constant, unbearable and untreatable physical or psychological suffering.

They must be 18 years old or over and request termination of life in a voluntary, deliberated and repeated manner free from coercion.

In Luxembourg, a text legalising euthanasia in certain terminal cases was approved in March 2009.

Elsewhere in Europe, Switzerland is one of the rare countries that allows assisted suicide with patients administering a lethal dose of medication themselves.

It does not allow active, direct euthanasia by a third party but tolerates the provision of substances to relieve suffering.

In Austria and Germany passive euthanasia is permitted if requested by the patient, so when death is brought about by an omission i.e. when someone else lets the person die.

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