Senator critical of debate on euthanasia


SEANAD REPORT:A DEBATE in the Seanad on euthanasia would scare patients in nursing homes throughout the country, Jim Walsh (FF) said.

The Health Service Executive was sponsoring a debate in Cork University hospital entitled “Why euthanasia should be legalised”, he said.

The invited speaker was in favour of involuntary euthanasia and believed in killing patients whose cost-benefit ratio was unfavourable so money could be redeployed to other areas of the health services, he said.

“We have had tremendous disquiet about some of the goings-on in our nursing homes where there was a strong failure by the HSE to enforce proper standards and regulations,” Mr Walsh said.

He said there was an unrepresentative group involved. This came from the ethics forum of Cork University Hospital. “If the agenda of that unrepresentative group is first of all embryonic stem cell research, where you destroy the embryo and you prevent life occurring, and then you move to euthanasia to kill people involuntarily when they get to a stage in their life, perhaps, where they’re not useful or productive, what’s next? Infanticide?”

David Norris (Ind) said that “Senator Walsh is a disgrace. He is looking for a headline on the basis of scaremongering.”

John Hanafin (FF) said he supported his colleague in seeking a debate “on the fact that the HSE seems to be sponsoring [a debate on] why euthanasia should be legalised. Euthanasia is a criminal act”.