Committee to begin considering complex issues around assisted dying

TDs and Senators asked to report to Oireachtas on whether statutory right to end a life is needed in Ireland

An Oireachtas committee tasked with making recommendations on whether people should be entitled to be assisted in ending their lives is to hold its first public meeting on Tuesday.

Officials from the Department of Justice and the Irish Human Rights Equality Commission (IHREC) are to address members of the committee on assisted dying.

“The Joint Committee on Assisted Dying has been formed to consider and make recommendations for legislative and policy change relating to a statutory right to assist a person to end his or her life (assisted dying) and a statutory right to receive such assistance,” an Oireachtas spokeswoman said. “This may also mean that no changes are recommended.”

The committee, comprising TDs and Senators, has held held a number of private meetings to formalise a work programme and agree on the topics to be discussed in the public meetings. It has been tasked with reporting to the Dáil and Seanad within nine months of its first public meeting.


“The Committee is eager to work together and with stakeholders on this complex and important issue,” said committee chairman Michael Healy-Rae said, who added that the subject raises complex matters such as “ethical and professional issues”.

The committee’s members are: Mr Healy-Rae, Sorca Clarke TD (Sinn Féin), Patrick Costello TD (Green Party), Pa Daly TD (Sinn Féin), Alan Farrell TD (Fine Gael), Emer Higgins TD (Fine Gael), Gino Kenny TD (People Before Profit-Solidarity), John Lahart (Fianna Fáil), Robert Troy (Fianna Fáil), Senator Annie Hoey (Labour Party), Senator Rónán Mullen (Independent), Senator Fiona O’Loughlin (Fianna Fáil), Senator Lynn Ruane (Independent), Mary Seery Kearney (Fine Gael).