Dying with Dignity Bill

 

Sir, – Last Wednesday, a majority of TDs voted to progress the issue of assisted dying in Ireland.

This will be hugely significant in relation to the debate over the coming months. The parties of Government took the call for a vote of conscience seriously and allowed their TDs to vote according to their beliefs and stance on the issue. This is to be commended.

The debate itself has only begun and the Bill will be scrutinised at length by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice and Equality over the next few months.

The committee will hear all perspectives on the issue, including views from patients, medical practitioners and the general public.

Many of us will welcome an open and frank debate about a profoundly difficult subject, no matter what side you’re on.

Evidence from recent opinion polls around assisted dying suggests that the majority of the Irish public want to see a change in the law around assisted dying that gives patients with a progressive and incurable terminal illness a choice to avail of such a change in the law.

Many who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness will not choose this path but those that do – and it will be in the rarest of circumstances – should be allowed to do so medically and legally. This will be resolved by changing the law, which would necessitate either political consensus or an indicative referendum.

Whatever the outcome, it is now time to act and have a respectful, rational and meaningful debate on voluntary assisted dying in Ireland. – Is mise,

GINO KENNy TD,

People Before Profit,

Leinster House,

Dublin 2.